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Eadweard Muybridge 
The Stanford Years, 1872-1882 

This is the fourteenth 
in a series of books 
published by the 
Department of Art, 
Stanford University 
Lorenz Eitner, Chairman 

©1972 by the Board of Trustees of 

The Leland Stanford Junior University 

All rights reserved 

Library of Congress catalogue card number: 72-92567 

The exhibition which this catalogue accompanies 

is sponsored by The Stanford University Museum of Art, 

The E.B. Crocker Art Gallery, Sacramento, and the 

USC Performing Arts Coordinating Council and University Galleries, 

University of Southern California, Los Angeles 

The Art Department of Stanford University gratefully 
acknowledges the assistance to its publishing program 
of the Carnegie Corporation of New York 


This exhibition, designed to honor the 
pioneer work of Eadweard Muybridge, 
would have little meaning had not his 
experiments in instantaneous photography led 
to the invention of the most pervasive art form 
of the twentieth century, the motion picture. 

There is something at once awesome and 
symbolic in the fact that at the very time that 
Muybridge was conducting his experiments in 
Palo Alto, California, a hundred years ago, in 
Ricse, Hungary, Adolph Zukor was born-an' 
other kind of pioneer, a man with the imagina^ 
tion to see the possibilities of an art in the crude, 
flickering images of the early movies, and with 
the energy and ability to create out of them the 
art'-industry that we know today. 




GE — AD 

In a very real sense, the life of Adolph Zukor 
has spanned the entire development of motion 
pictures. And it is no less realistic to observe 
that, without the leadership of men like Zukor, 
we would not be celebrating today these early 
achievements of Eadweard Muybridge. The an' 
nals of history must be filled with bold pioneers 
whose inventions are wholly forgotten because 
no one had the imagination to find an audience 
for them. 

It is, therefore, more than appropriate that in 
honoring the centennial ofEadweard Muybridge' s 
achievements we also recognize the centennial 
of Adolph Zukor's birth. The creative artist and 
the creative entrepreneur- the one could never 
exist without the other. 


Eadweard Muybridge 
The Stanford Years, 1872-1882 

Stanford University Museum of Art 7 October - 4 December 1972 

E. B. Crocker Art Gallery, Sacramento 16 December -14 January 1973 

University Galleries, University of Southern California, Los Angeles 8 February -11 March 1973 

^VlNQ STUO V °* 

This catalogue and the exhibition it accompanies are dedicated to 
the painter Susan Weil, of New York, who introduced me to the work of Eadweard Muybridge in 1953 

Anita Ventura Mozley, Registrar and Curator of Photography 
Stanford University Museum of Art 

Eadweard Muybridge: The Stanford Years, 1872-1882 

Introduction Anita Ventura Mozley 7 

Eadweard Muybridge, 1830-1904 Robert Bartlett Haas 11 

Photographs by Muybridge, 1872-1880 
Catalogue and Notes on the Work Anita Ventura Mozley 37 

Marey, Muybridge and Meissonier 
The Study of Movement in Science and Art Frangoise Forster-Hahn 85 

Documents 110 

Muybridge Bibliography 134 

Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier (1815-1891) 
Leland Stanford "1881" 
oil on canvas, 15 x 20 in. 
Stanford University Museum of Art 
Stanford Collection 

Photograph by Wm. Vick Studio, Ipswich 
Eadweard Muybridge c. 1881 
Courtesy of Robert B. Haas 


"The circumstances must have been exceptionally felicitous that 
made co-laborateurs of the man that no practical impediment 
could halt, and of the artist who, to keep pace with the 
demands of the railroad builder hurried his art to a marvel of 
perfection that it is fair to believe it would not else have 
reached in another century. " 

E.J. Muybridge, 1881 

That the Stan ford /Muybridge collaboration was a felicitous one 
was widely acknowledged in its own time. The outcome of the 
photographic experiments they made at Palo Alto Farm in 
1878 and 1879 was reported in journals in this country and in 
Europe. By 1879, the year in which Thomas Eakins based his 
painting, The Fairman Rogers Four-in-Hand, on a serial 
photograph from Muybridge's The Horse in Motion, 
representation of the horse in art was changed to conform with 
photographic evidence, and in 1881, the year of Muybridge's 
triumph in France, the physiologist Etienne-Jules Marey of the 
College de France abandoned the method of graphic notation 
of animal locomotion that he had been using and turned, 
under the influence of Muybridge's results, to making 
photographic records of motion. Muybridge's zoopraxiscope, 
which he devised in 1879, was the first instrument to 
synthesize motion that had been analytically photographed 
from life. Thus, as a result of the experiments at Palo Alto 
Farm, the forerunner of the motion picture was introduced to 
astonished nineteenth-century audiences, of whom the first was 
the Leland Stanford family in their Palo Alto home. "All that 
was wanting," said one San Francisco reporter, "was the clatter 
of hoofs." Muybridge himself forecast the day when entire 
operas would be presented through the combined effects of his 
zoopraxiscope and the phonograph. 

The successful outcome of the Stanford /Muybridge 
collaboration has called forth twentieth -century celebrations: in 
1929, a three-day colloquium was held at Stanford University, 
and in 1930, the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames, 
Muybridge's birthplace, struck a medal marking the centenary 
of his birth. Forty-two years later, the Stanford University 
Museum of Art celebrates the hundredth anniversary of the 

beginning of Stanford's and Muybridge's work together with the 
presentation of an exhibition and catalogue that differs from 
these previous events in this respect: we hope now to present 
Muybridge whole, as it were, and to make it clear that the 
"man who took the pictures of the running horses," as he is 
most often described, came to the task quite prepared for it, 
through some ten years of experience as a photographer. And 
we want to answer to his often-repeated description of himself 
as "a photographic artist" with a display of his work of the 
1870s upon which such a description is based. The art of 
photography is dependent upon its science; this was especially 
true when Muybridge practised it, for there were then no 
packaged goods, and every photographer was his own chemist. 
We will also see, in Muybridge's work of the 1870s, how 
technically proficient he was before he undertook the studies of 
animal locomotion. In our change of emphasis, or rather 
extension of interest in the work of Muybridge, we will follow 
him as he "hurried his art to a marvel of perfection," and 
finally produced for Stanford the synthesized motion that had 
been so avidly sought in the nineteenth century. Here now is 
given not only the accomplishment for which Muybridge is 
internationally known, but also the work basic to it, which we 
believe deserves equal attention. This is, so far as we know, the 
first time that the Muybridge studies of animal locomotion have 
been seen in relation to the photographs that preceded them. 

In focusing on Muybridge's work during these years of his and 
Stanford's collaboration, we have learned some strange things. 
Through documents recently made available by the George 
Arents Research Library of Syracuse University, we learn that 
Muybridge was early a writer, a talent often congenial to 
photographers. The quotation given above is from an unsigned 
history of the Palo Alto experiments that appeared in the San 
Francisco Examiner for 6 February 1881 under the heading 
"Leland Stanford's Gift to Science and to Art." According to 
Muybridge's history, Stanford's gift was Muybridge. His article 
on the collaboration is rich in praise of Stanford and himself, 
and the dates he gives for some circumstances of the 
experiments are questionable. We are not sure, for instance, 
having no photographic proof, that Muybridge really did take a 

photograph in 1872 of a horse at that point in its stride when 
all four feet are off the ground. Marey published experimental 
proof of this unsupported transit in 1873. While we celebrate a 
centennial date, we must also question it: did both Stanford 
and Muy bridge thus claim priority for their work? Still, 
Muybridge always said that his experiments "commenced in 
1872," and Stanford never disallowed the statement. 

As a writer, Muybridge's subject was most often himself: in 
1868 he had written, as publisher, about his own photographs, 
which he then issued under the pseudonym "Helios." 
Muybridge was also his own best historian: the most valuable 
source of information we have about his career is the 
scrapbook, now in the Kingston-upon-Thames Library, that he 
made of press clippings he had gathered throughout his life. 

It is also strange to learn that it was doctors' orders, of all 
things, that started each of them on the courses that would 
eventually bring them together. From Scrapbook 6 of the 
Stanford Family Scrapbooks in the University Archives, an 
article of the early 1890s, under the heading "Senator 
Stanford's Great Palo Alto Breeding Ranch," we find that 
Stanford "became interested in thoroughbred horses . . . 
through ill health. My doctor had ordered a vacation for me 
and had told me that I must go away on a tour. I could not 
leave at that time, and he advised me to leave as soon as 
possible. I bought a little horse, that turned out to be 
remarkably fast, and it was in the using of it that I became 
interested in the study of the horse and its actions. . . ." And, 
according to Robert B. Haas, Muybridge's biographer, 
Muybridge was ordered by his physician to take up an 
"outdoor" activity to repair his health after a nearly disastrous 
stagecoach accident. Stanford determined to breed and train 
fast horses; Muybridge to become a professional photographer. 

They were both men who strove to be at the top of their 
chosen fields. H.C. Nash, tutor to Leland Stanford, Jr., from 
1881 until the boy's death in 1884, remarked in 1889 to the 
historian H.H. Bancroft, who was preparing his Chronicles of 
the Builders, that "anything in which Stanford is interested, he 
can go at." Stanford went at the breeding and training of 
trotting horses in such a way as to make the Palo Alto Farm 
famous throughout the world. He invented the so-called "brush 
system" of training, a system in which young horses were 
trained early for speed rather than endurance. According to 
Charles Marvin, the well-known trainer Stanford hired in 1878, 

Stanford instituted what we now consider progressive notions, 
even in relation to the education of children. In his Training 
the Trotting Horse, Marvin tells that no employee was kept on 
who used an angry tone or a foul word in the presence of the 
horses, and the daily custom of the stable included every 
comfort for the physical well-being and emotional security of 
the animals, including hot meals from a recipe of Stanford's 
own devising. The young horses were guided through steps in 
their education according to their abilities, and Stanford 
carefully observed their progress, when he was at the farm, 
from his revolving chair in the center of the "kindergarten 
track." (Muybridge's Attitudes of Animals in Motion of 1881 
reflects this personal interest in the animals; we know the 
names of Stanford's horses from the index to the photographs, 
but the athletes of the Olympic Club of San Francisco, the first 
men to enter a motion-picture stage, are unnamed.) Stanford's 
personalized system of training and breeding was ultimately 
widely adopted; in its own sphere, it was a "revolution." 

Muybridge was equally thorough. After a successful career in 
San Francisco as a seller of imported books, he plunged into 
the profession of photography to become the most sought-after 
photographic artist on the West Coast. From his correspondence 
with such journals as The Philadelphia Photographer and 
Anthony's Bulletin, we learn that he followed closely advances 
in the technique of photography, and early contributed ideas 
that furthered progress in its practice. He was ambitious for 
preeminence: if the photographer Carleton E. Watkins could 
make 18 x 22 in. negatives of the Valley of the Yosemite in 
1861, Muybridge would eventually go him better, in 1872, and 
take larger and more comprehensive views than had ever been 
made of it, or any other Western scenery, for that matter. For 
this work he won the gold medal for landscape at the Vienna 
Exposition of 1873, in a competition that included fifty 
photographers from all over the world. At this time he was 
associated with the Bradley & Rulofson Gallery of San 
Francisco, which boasted "the only elevator connected with 
photography in the world," among other superiorities of men 
and equipment. The Bradley & Rulofson publication, Catalogue 
of Photographic Views Illustrating The Yosemite, Mammoth 
Trees, Geyser Springs, and other remarkable and Interesting 
Scenery of the Far West, by Muybridge tells us that by 1873, 
Muybridge had photographed in both stereo and large views the 
remarkable range of subjects that the catalogue indicates. There 
was probably hardly a parlor in the West that did not have some 
stereo views by Muybridge, which, when placed in the 

stereoscope, would delight the viewer with a three-dimensional 
vision of spectacular scenery which he might never otherwise 
see. We also know, from the almost comprehensive collection of 
Muybridge's work of these years which is now held by The Bancroft 
Library that also he had made studies of moonlight effects, light 
and shadow, reflected images, of clouds and of trees. The 
Philadelphia Photographer called him "indefatiguable and 
untiring"; one term alone would not do justice to the amount and 
variety of his photographic production. 

When Stanford and Muybridge met, Stanford, ex-Governor 
of California and President of the Central Pacific Railroad, was 
one of the state's leading citizens; Muybridge was at the top of 
his profession. They met, therefore, as equals in terms of the 
business at hand, in which each developed a consuming interest. 
During the time of their collaboration, what must have been 
immense personal differences were put aside. It is interesting to 
picture the railroad builder and the artist in conversation at 
Palo Alto or in Stanford's offices in the city and to recognize 
their temperamental differences as we can gather them from 
styles of expression and dress. In 1881, Meissonier painted the 
carefully groomed business man in his proper garb of the 
period, with his ivory-headed, gold-inlaid cane. Here is the man 
who could utter: "The machine cannot lie." Shortly thereafter 
Olive Logan reported from London to the Philadelphia Times 
that Muybridge "bears the traces of genius in his face and 
general get-up. As to the latter, it is artistique au possible; the 
loosely tied neck ribbon, the velvet coat, the gray felt 

sombrero these might be called Californian, were they not 

the true artistic style of the London and Paris ateliers. With 
gray hair carelessly tossed back from an intellectual forehead, 
bright flashing eyes and a pleasant mouth, Mr. Muybridge must 
make himself an interesting subject for a photograph, whether in 
motion or at rest. . ." 

Each of them, as the work came to an end, saw in its 
successful conclusion the realization of their separate 
aspirations, and a claim to glory. For Stanford, it was the 
crowning achievement of his interest in the scientific training 
and breeding of horses. For Muybridge, it summarized his 
superiority in the science and art of photography. Each of them 
believed his role to be the important one. It was the end of 
felicity. Stanford published his own book on the experiments, 
giving the photographer little credit, and Muybridge, after 
registering his objections to this by suing his former patron, 
found some one else to support more extensive, accurate and 

elaborate experiments. 

Underlying the eventual falling out between them was, it 
appears, the difference between the interests that had 
brought them together. A theory of animal locomotion was 
what Stanford was after, and photographs were useful to it as 
proof only. They were the raw material of the investigation, 
and once they provided him with information, they could be 
thrown out the window. To be finally acceptable, to Stanford, 
photographs had to be translated into a more traditional 
graphic medium. (He would take the photographs of the 
Olympic Club athletes to Europe, a San Francisco newspaper 
reports in 1879, "to have them worked up into large 
paintings.") He published line copies of Muybridge's 
photographs in his book, The Horse in Motion, which was 
written by Dr. J.D.B. Stillman. (Who, Muybridge later said, 
"never was present at an experiment in motion.") By 
translating Muybridge's photographs into line drawings, 
Stanford destroyed the very exact "witness of the sun," as the 
nineteenth century called photography, a witness he himself 
had so unhesitatingly sought from Muybridge. The 
photographer of motion was furious. Stanford, the wealthy 
collector of certified American and European art, did not have 
a photographic vision. Muybridge did, and it is his vision that 
convinces us today. 

Muybridge worked at a time when the canons of his art 
were being invented; he was one of the inventors. He began his 
work rooted in a nineteenth-century idea of illustration. As did 
other photographers of his time, he turned to painting as a 
model. So powerful were his photographs, that painters came to 
use them as studies for their own work. He manipulated his 
negatives, touching them out where it seemed effective, or 
combining them for heightened drama, a practice that is being 
taken up again today among photographers. As he progressed in 
his profession the science of his art took over; he soon pushed 
the capabilities of his medium as far as his wet-plate collodion 
equipment would permit. His pride, as a photographic artist, 
was that he "advanced photography." This present review of his 
work of the 1870s gives us the photographs upon which his 
claim to superiority was based. It reveals the justification of 
this claim. What Muybridge finally came to, under Stanford's 
patronage, was the previously unknown photographic analysis 
of motion, the negatives "taken in the 1/2000 part of a 
second," and the synthesis of this stopped motion. In 1972, when 
his achievement is our daily reality, we celebrate it. A.V.M. 

Muybridge, Bradley & Rulofson advertising card 1873 
Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 

Eadweard Muybridge, 1830 1904 

Robert Bartlett Haas 

No more fascinating and mysterious a figure flickers through 
the scientific and artistic literature of the late nineteenth 
century than that of Eadweard Muybridge. The fascination 
arises from his work in photography (particularly his 
photography of motion), which, despite its undeniable influence 
on subsequent researchers and artists, remains today largely 
unexplored, unstudied or unestimated. The mystery arises from 
Muybridge's personality as well as from the curious absence of 
much of the biographical data which is required for an 
objective assessment of the man in relation to his work and his 
accomplishments. How appropriate it is, then, since Leland 
Stanford was Eadweard Muybridge's first great patron, that the 
Stanford University Museum of Art should seek a new 
evaluation of Eadweard Muybridge in 1972, the hundredth 
anniversary of his first commission for Leland Stanford. 

Opinions have differed, over the years, as to the real value 
and meaning of Muybridge's work: 

Was Muybridge truly a master-photographer of the 
nineteenth century, or was he only a retardataire worker and 
self-appointed genius? Was Muybridge the chief architect for 
Stanford's plan to investigate animal locomotion, or was he 
merely a technician employed by Stanford as an instrumentality 
to realize a project which Stanford had independently 
conceived? Was Muybridge the inventor of the modern motion 
picture, or was he only a minor figure in the history of 
cinematic progress? 

This centenary exhibition will begin to answer such 
questions. And if, in the process of digesting the facts and 
reducing the ambiguities, the Muybridge legend should 
somewhat alter, Eadweard Muybridge will at least, or at last, in 
simple justice, be accorded his rightful and considered place. 

1830-1872: From Muggeridge to Muybridge 

Eadweard Muybridge was born Edward James Muggeridge on 9 
April 1830 in Kingston-upon-Thames. His father, a 

well-established corn and small-coal chandler, died in 1843, 
leaving a widow and four sons. Eadweard attended Queen 
Elizabeth's Free Grammar School in Kingston and subsequently 
sought practical training and work in London, where 
Muggeridges had been stationers and papermakers since the 
eighteenth century. Muybridge's first American employment, as 
a commission merchant for the London Printing & Publishing 
Company, and his early interest in developing patents for a 
"plate-printing apparatus," strongly suggest a family-related 
apprenticeship. In 1851 he also became agent for Johnson, Fry 
& Company, serving their offices in Boston, New York and 
Philadelphia. He traveled between New York and the principal 
ports of the southern states, overseeing the importing, sale and 
distribution of books. 

During these years, Muybridge met Silas Selleck, a New 
York daguerreotypist whose family was engaged in the business 
of book printing and bookbinding. In letters written home at 
this time, Muybridge said that he, too, was "working at 
photography," no doubt under Selleck's tutelage. When Selleck 
struck out for California in the early 1850s and established a 
successful photographic gallery in San Francisco, Muybridge 
resolved to settle on the West Coast and manage a bookstore of 
his own. 

At the age of twenty-five, Eadweard Muybridge (first as 
Muggeridge, then as Muygridge) established a bookstore and 
general salesroom at 113 Montgomery Street, San Francisco. 
Here he claimed to have "a larger assortment of handsomely 
gotten up Illustrated Works than any other house in 
California." 1 He was soon well-known and well-patronized by 
the local literary and Bohemian crowds. He served on the board 
of the Mercantile Library. He was soon successful enough 
financially to bring his brother George and his brother Tom to 
California to tend shop for him while he himself traveled 
throughout the state in order to contact "gentlemen furnishing 
libraries" in this culture-hungry period of California's 
development. On these sightseeing jaunts, Muybridge developed 
his acquaintance with the varied resources and natural beauties 



G^ K ' 

r ^ r Illustrations or TKJE 4 


"'-Vimq S TU0 |0 ' 

Muybridge, "Helios's" Flying Studio in San Francisco 1868 
B&R 340; stereo, 3V4 x 3 in. Bancroft Library 

Muybridge, "Helios's" Flying Studio in Yosemite 1867 
B&R 114; stereo, 3V4 x 3 in. Bancroft Library 

of California and the West Coast which he was subsequently to 
make known to the world through the medium of photography. 

In the summer of 1860, Muybridge returned to England to 
prepare himself for a serious second professional career as a 
photographer. Traveling by the Butterfield Overland Mail route 
through Texas to Missouri, he suffered severe injury when the 
stagecoach was overturned and wrecked. American medical 
treatment proved unsatisfactory; he traveled on to England, 
where he put himself under the extended care of one of the 
greatest physicians of the day, Sir William Gull. Gull's 
predilection for "natural therapy" encouraged Muybridge to 
plan only an outdoor career for himself. The public's passion for 
collecting stereoscopic views illustrating remote and exotic parts 
of the world suggested a lucrative field to him. He returned to 
California with new photographic skills, a new sense of energy 
and purpose, and a new dream of photographing the Far West 
for the world to see. 

The San Francisco to which Eadweard Muybridge returned 
in the mid-1860s, as Clarence King described it, ". . . stood on 
the threshold of greatness." Ambitions were growing more 
refined. The completion of the transcontinental railroad, 
achieved in 1869, was about to make the old sea and land 
routes to the Gold Coast obsolete. Eadweard Muybridge 
plunged immediately into the five years of strenuous and 
productive photography during which he produced some 
two-thousand photographs that systematically portrayed the Far 
West. The photographs fall into a number of "series," 
identifiable today in the Bradley & Rulofson Catalogue of 
Photographic Views Illustrating the Yosemite, Mammoth 
Trees, Geyser Springs, and other remarkable and Interesting 
Scenery of the Far West, by Muybridge, a summary of all of his 
"outdoor" work done to 1873. 2 This included San 

Francisco views, Yosemite and Calaveras views, Vancouver 
Island and Alaska views, Lighthouses of the Pacific Coast, 
Farallone Island views, Railroads, (Central Pacific, Union Pacific 
and California Pacific), Geyser Springs, Woodward's Gardens (in 
San Francisco), and Scenery of the Yosemite Valley and the 
Mariposa Grove. Until 1872, these photographs were signed 
with the pseudonym "Helios"; after that, Muybridge used his 
own name. 


North Point Dock c.1868 
B&R 301 ; stereo, 3V4 x 3 in. 
(Muybridge is seated on the dock) 
Bancroft Library 

Through his photographs Muybridge achieved considerable 
fame and fortune. They were internationally distributed and did 
much to make the West Coast known abroad. Muybridge's great 


photographic cataloguing of the West is being rediscovered 
today. There is something so forceful, so intensive and so 
athletic in his coverage that it is difficult to comprehend it as 
the work of one man. In its day Muybridge's landscape 
photography was accorded professional recognition for its 
excellence, and Helen Hunt Jackson called Muybridge not only 
a photographer, but an artist. "I am not sure, after all," she 
wrote, "that there is anything so good to do in San Francisco 
as to spend a forenoon in Mr. Muybridge's little upper chamber, 
looking over those marvellous pictures." 

1872-1877: Early Experiments in California 

In the spring of 1872, according to Muybridge, an unexpected 
summons from Leland Stanford, former governor of the State of 
California and powerful president of the Central Pacific Railroad 
Company, suddenly gave another direction to the course of 
Muybridge's professional life. In brief, Stanford telegraphed 
Muybridge from his residence in Sacramento, requesting that he 
secure photographic evidence for him that a horse trotting at top 
speed has all four feet off the ground at one point in his stride. 

Although subsequent events and misunderstandings have 
tended to cloud the exact nature of the Stanford/Muybridge 
collaboration, Muybridge himself recorded, during the Stanford 
years, that he was "perfectly amazed at the boldness and 
originality of the proposition," and wondered at first whether it 
could be accomplished. 4 He accepted the commission, however, 
and in May of 1872 made several negatives of Stanford's fast 
horse Occident at the Union Park Race Course in Sacramento. 
Occident was "trotting, laterally, in front of his camera, at rates 
of speed varying from two minutes and twenty-five seconds to 
two minutes and eighteen seconds per mile." 5 Muybridge then 
returned to the Yosemite Valley, where he was making the 
wet-plate glass negatives, in sizes ranging from 20 x 24 inches to 
stereos, that he printed for publication by Bradley & Rulofson 
in 1873. 

The photographs of Occident made at this time were not 
intended for commercial distribution and have not, to date, 
been located. Nor have been the photographs made in April, 
1873, when Muybridge returned to Sacramento for a second 
try, although the Alta California referred to them as "a great 
triumph as a curiosity in photography — a horse's picture taken 

Muybridge, advertising card 
Pacific Rolling Mills 
stereo, 3V4 x 3 in. 
Bancroft Library 



Muybridge, stereo views 

Bancroft Library 


Indian Pow-Wow House, Nanaimo B&R 508, c. 1868 

Chinese Joss House, Astrological Priest B&R 845, c. 1870 

California Standard Sack Co. 

View in Woodward's Gardens B&R 555, c. 1869 

At the Velocipe Training School B&R 444, c. 1868 

Classroom, San Vincent's Orphan Asylum, c. 1874 


jpjfM ,^9 

tH HI li i 



^Sj— kC=i r} . 4Byi ^2l ^Sp 



Studies of Clouds c. 1869 

B&R 535, 541, 537, 536, 544, 548 

stereos, 3 x 3V4 in. 

Bancroft Library 


Studies of Trees c. 1869 
B&R 518-19, 521, 523-24 
stereos, 3 x 3 'A in. 
Bancroft Library 


while going thirty-eight feet in a second!" 6 Muybridge always 
claimed that the photographs resulting from these experiments 
"were sufficiently sharp to give a recognizable silhouette 
portrait of the driver, and some of them exhibited the horse 
with all four of his feet clearly lifted, at the same time, above 
the surface of the ground." Although Muybridge never claimed 
more quality for either the 1872 or 1873 pictures than to say 
they were "photographic impressions," Stanford found them 
entirely satisfactory for his immediate purpose. Because the 
original photographs were never circulated, photographic 
historians have found it easy to assert that they were 
"inconclusive" and mere silhouettes." 

It is likely that the Currier & Ives print, The California 
Wonder OCCIDENT, owned by Gov. L. Stanford, entered for 
copyright in 1873, was intended to make both the photographs 
and the results of the experiments visual. As translated to the 
lithographic stone by the equestrian artist, J. Cameron, 
Occident displays himself in harness, at the private trial of 
speed, with all four feet free of the ground. 

Further experiments in the photography of rapid motion 
under Stanford's aegis were unfortunately suspended during the 
years 1874 to 1876 because of the unhappy turn of events in 
Muybridge's private life. His young wife, Flora, became 
infatuated with the soldier of fortune Major Henry Larkyns, a 
dashing and mysterious figure who for a few brief months 
enlivened San Francisco's Bohemian society. After warning 
Larkyns away from his wife, Muybridge told Larkyns that he 
would not hesitate to destroy him if it were necessary to do so. 
Some months later Flora bore a son. Inadvertantly, Muybridge 
learned that the love affair between Larkyns and Flora had 
continued, so that the child might well be Larkyns's rather than 
his own. With a shockingly cool sense of justice, Muybridge 
then sought out Harry Larkyns on 17 October 1874 and 
deliberately shot him. [See Documents, B]. The trial that 
ensued was one of the most dramatic that the state had ever 
seen. No doubt Leland Stanford stood behind Muybridge 
throughout the case, for Stanford's great friend, Wirt W. 
Pendegast, served as lawyer for the defense and won an 
acquittal on the ground of justifiable homicide. 7 Following the 
trial, a way was found for Muybridge to leave the country until 
the unpleasantness had blown over. He traveled to Central 
America, arriving at Panama by Pacific Mail steamer in March, 
1875. During his stay there, Flora Shallcross Stone Muybridge 

The year before the murder, Muybridge had completed his 
documentation of the Modoc War; during his stay in Central 
America he produced a series of Central America and Isthmus 
of Panama views; and upon his return he executed the various 
panoramas of San Francisco "from the California Street Hill" 
that remain among the real wonders of West Coast 
photography. During Muybridge's long periods on shipboard, he 
had experimented with new chemicals and a new shutter 
intended for the instantaneous photography of motion. 8 Thus, 
despite the tragic character of this period of his life, Muybridge 
was professionally very productive. 

By 1876 Muybridge claimed to be prepared to take 
photographs at 1/1000 of a second. Experiments for Stanford 
were, as Muybridge later said, "desultorily continued." It is 
probable that a Muybridge photograph of 1876 (as yet 
undiscovered) also supplied the image for another lithograph of 
Currier & Ives: Occident/ (Formerly 'Wonder') brown gelding, 
by pacing stallion St. Clair, dam 's pedigree unknown. Owned by 
Ex-Gov. Leland Stanford of California/Record 2:16 3/4, Sept. 
17th, 1876/Thos. Worth on stone. 

The last of the Sacramento photographs was taken in July, 
1877. The now world-famous Occident was again the subject. A 
picture was circulated among newsmen in August and created a 
proper furore. Muybridge described it as a photograph of 
Occident made while "trotting past me at the rate of 2:27, 
accurately timed, or 36 feet in a second, about 40 feet distant, 
the exposure of the negative being less than the one-thousandth 
part of a second. The length of exposure can be pretty 
accurately determined by the fact that the whip in the driver's 
hand did not move the distance of its diameter. The picture has 
been retouched, as is customary at this time with all first class 
photographic work, for the purpose of giving a better effect to 
the details. In every other respect, the photograph is exactly as 
it was made in the camera." 

McCrellish, editor of the Alta, called the picture "a novelty 
in photographic art, and a delineation of speed which the eye 
cannot catch " 10 Resources of California reported, "Progress in 

Photography an Astonishing Result." The San Francisco 

Bulletin called the picture, "A Triumph of Photographic Art." 
Only the Post took a dim view of the matter, questioning the 
attitudes of the horse and the driver: "Either the camera did 
lie," the writer asserted, "or Stanford has got the most 
extraordinary horse in the world." 11 Again, the photograph was 


not distributed commercially, but the curious who went to 
Muybridge's studio were shown the negative along with a sworn 
statement by the driver, Mr. Tennant, as to the speed the horse 
had been traveling. Prints purporting to be from the negative 
were copyrighted by Muybridge in 1877 and distributed as 
"Occident Photographed at Full Speed," an "Automatic- 

Fortunately (or unfortunately), the Stanford Museum still 
possesses an almost totally hand-painted picture by the artist 
John Koch, the high-paid retoucher for Morse, who was then 
Muybridge's publisher. It is this painting that was apparently 
photographed by Muybridge and published as "Occident 
Photographed at Full Speed." Only the face of the driver is a 
photographic print; it is carefully cut and pasted to the surface 
of the canvas. X-ray and infra-red examination of the picture 
show no photographic base for the rest. 12 One is inclined to 
believe that Muybridge has been caught out in a gigantic hoax 
until one realizes that neither Stanford nor Muybridge was 
primarily concerned with either the quality or the distribution 
of the Muybridge photographs at the time. It was only required 
that they serve as incontrovertible data for building a general 
theory of locomotion on which Stanford could base a scientific 
theory of animal training. Once the equine image was arrested 
by instantaneous photography, the proof was in. Presentation 
of the data was entrusted to the more familiar graphic 
media — the drawing, the lithograph, the woodcut or the 

painting as being more capable than the print of an 

instantaneous photograph of rendering details. An outline 
drawing on canvas of Abe Edgington, another of Stanford's 
horses, exists in the Museum; it is an exact preliminary sketch 
for a subsequent painting, also there. 13 This suggests that the 
images might have been traced onto the canvas by an artist 
working from lantern-slide projections of Muybridge 
photographs. These drawings could then have been submitted to 
Stanford for approval of the image before the final painting was 
undertaken. One is inclined to forget that reproductive printing 
processes in the 1870s were highly limited, and that great 
latitude was given to the artist to make up for this. 
"Retouching" photographs was thought of not only as a 
positive way to improve over the "accidents" of the camera, 
but also as an elegant embellishment, an artistic additive to 
photography. "Composite" photography, "moonlight" effects, 
"cloud" effects and manipulative studio tricks of all kinds were 
in common use, and were certainly practiced by Muybridge, as 
we can see in some of his more dramatic landscape work. 

Currier & Ives, Occident 1873 

color lithograph, composition, 7% x 14% in. 

Currier & Ives, Occident 1876 

color lithograph, composition, I6V2 x 25 in. 


a« sUHiou Si 1 I. iir ■ s pnli< 


Thomas Hill (1829-1908) 

Palo Alto Spring 1878; oil on canvas, 86% x 138 in. 

Stanford University Museum of Art, Stanford Collection 

But of far more moment is the fact that, whatever others 
thought of the Muybridge/Koch picture, Stanford himself was 
satisfied with it. Again, it served his immediate purpose and 
suggested other possibilities. In fact, we learn in 1877 that the 
Stanford/Muyb ridge experiments are to be further extended: 
"Mr. Muybridge intends to take a series of pictures, showing 
the step of "Occident" at all the stages, and in this manner, for 
the first time, the precise differences in the motions of 
different horses can be clearly represented ... a matter of 
much interest to horsemen, for trotters vary in their action, one 
having his fore-leg straight when it touches the ground, another 
crooked, and so on." 14 

1878-1879: Analysis and Synthesis 

By 1878, the Leland Stanford family had lived in their Nob 
Hill mansion in San Francisco for at least a year, but much of 
their time was spent at their country estate, Palo Alto, where 
Stanford was developing his world-famous stock farm. It was 
here, then, in the farmland thirty-five miles south of the city, 
that Stanford and Muybridge projected a new full-scale 
photographic study of the horse in motion. The method 
adopted for the serial photographs at the Palo Alto Farm was a 
practical elaboration of Rejlander's scheme of 1872/3, which 
envisioned the use of a battery of cameras to illustrate the 
varied positions of the animal's feet in a sequential series of 
photographs. 15 Twelve Scoville cameras had been ordered from 
New York, and stereoscopic lenses for them were ordered from 
Dallmeyer of London. [Muybridge's "testimonials" to the 
quality of this equipment are given in Documents, A.] 

Muybridge then prepared a "crude model" of his scheme for 
photographing objects in motion and took it, at Stanford's 
suggestion, to the chief engineer of the Central Pacific Railroad 
Company, Mr. S. Montague, for help in converting the idea into 
a workable mechanism. Mr. Montague then called in Mr. Arthur 
Brown, who "had in his immediate supply skilled mechanics 
and artisans of various kinds" at the car shops in Oakland, 
requesting him to take charge of the matter in accordance with 
Mr. Stanford's desires. Mr. Brown proposed to build the 
required fast shutter mechanism with "some mechanical 
contrivance to work automatically, as the horse passes along,by 
levers or some means to set them off as it went along." Mr. 
Brown then called in his assistant, Mr. John Isaacs, who 
proposed electricity and "took an active part in getting up this 

Topographical map showing Stanford's Stock Farm 1886 

(the lower right corner of the detail is approximate north) 

From a survey map prepared for Frederick Law Olmsted, 

whose drawing for the campus of the proposed university 

is seen in the lower left 

Stanford University Museum of Art 

Gift of the Committee for Art at Stanford 


new apparatus." Isaacs made the working drawings, but the 
practical electrical work, which was adapted to Muybridge's 
crude model and built into the final working model, was done 
by Mr. Paul Seiler of the California Electric Works in San 
Francisco. Mr. Tiffany, of the San Francisco Telegraph Supply 
Company, supplied the electromagnets. Thus, in a manner 
comparable to scientific experimentation today, Muybridge's 
idea was worked out on a practical level through the cooperation 
of a group of specialists. Muybridge originated the idea, and 
Isaacs suggested the application of electricity to carry it out. 16 

By June the "motion-picture studio," constructed along the 
south side of the Palo Alto Farm's one-mile training track, was 
in full swing. In order to forestall the charge that the new 
pictures were in any way "got up," several groups of interested 
sportsmen and news reporters were invited, from time to time, 
to view the proceedings. What they saw, on 15 June 1878, the 
day of the initial demonstration, was a series of twelve 
photographs that were taken in less than half a second while 
Stanford's horse Abe Edgington was traveling in front of the 
cameras at forty feet a second. The animal was photographed 
against a wooden backdrop fifteen feet high and somewhat 
wider than the studio's length. This was marked off, as 
Muybridge wrote, "by vertical lines into spaces of twenty-one 

inches, each space being consecutively numbered" for the 
purpose of later analyzing the photographs and placing them in 
series. Muybridge prepared and developed his plates on the 
spot, and only a few minutes elapsed between each "take" and 
the exhibition of his negatives. Visitors were fascinated by the 
ingenuity of the electrical mechanism whereby the camera 
shutters were released. In photographing the running horse, 
threads were stretched across the track and connected so that 
armatures would release the shutters when each thread was 
broken as the horse went by. In photographing the trotting 
horse, the wheels of the sulky traveled over wires laid across 
the track to break the contact. This was the mechanism which 
was suggested by Isaacs. 17 

In June, 1878, Muybridge filed application for letters patent 
on a "Method and Apparatus for Photographing Objects in 
Motion"; and in July for letters patent on an "Improvement in 
the Method and Apparatus for Photographing Objects in 
Motion." The patents, No. 212864 and No. 212865, were 
granted to Muybridge on 4 March 1879, apparently with the 
full knowledge and approval of Leland Stanford. [See 
Documents, A, for diagrams that accompanied the patents.] 

During the summer and fall of 1878, the principal equine 

Camera and back of an electro-shutter 1878 
Photograph B, Attitudes of Animals in Motion, 1881 
Stanford University Museum of Art 

Front of electro-shutters, with positions 

of panels before, during and after exposure 1878 

Photograph C, Attitudes of Animals in Motion, 1881 


Muy bridge, The Palo Alto Stock Farm c. 1880 
Photograph A, The Attitudes of Animals in Motion, 1881 

^?SL -^t^ " ^—Ez 

"2^ 3& 

Tbs Gallop, from "Tegetmeier on the P»ce» of the Ho 

stars photographed were Stanford's Occident, Sallie Gardner, 
Mahomet and Abe Edgington. Six photographic cards 
illustrating these animals (in either six, eight or twelve 
positions) were copyrighted and published by Muybridge in 
1878 as The Horse in Motion. They achieved world-wide 
distribution and world-wide fame. Popular consensus was that 
the method now employed by Muybridge "precluded all 
suspicion of mistakes, and ensured accuracy which could not be 
questioned." Popular fancy was caught by "something so 
complicated yet so simple and wonderful in the plan by which 
the horse took his own picture!" 18 

During the year 1879, Muybridge increased to twenty-four 
(with Stanford's full support) the number of cameras in the 
studio. Other horses which were then photographed were 
Nelson, Clyde, Dandee, Sharon, Gypsy (Leland Stanford Jr.'s 
pony), Albany, Nimrod, Oakland Maid, Eros, Mohawk, Elaine, 
Clay, Hattie, Florence, Phryne, Frankie, Maggie, Gilberta, 
Vaquero, Riata, Electioneer and Lancaster. In addition, studies 
were made of the locomotion of the ox, dog, bull, cow, deer, 
goat and boar. In summary, animals were represented in the 
actions of walking, ambling, cantering, pacing, trotting, running, 
leaping, standing and hauling, and the result was a utilitarian 
compendium of analytical, sequential photographs directly 
fulfilling Stanford's request for new data on the nature of 
animal locomotion. 

In August, 1879, several athletes from the Olympic Club in 
San Francisco came to Menlo Park at Stanford's invitation and 
were photographed by Muybridge fencing, jumping, tumbling 
and in "various classical groupings." By the end of 1879, 
Muybridge had taken literally hundreds of instantaneous 
pictures for Stanford, and Stanford had spent around $50,000 on 
the project. But he was not yet finished. 

On 18 December 1878, Professor Etienne-Jules Marey of the 
College de France, author of La Machine Animale, 1873 
(translated and published in English under the title Animal 
Mechanism, 1874), which had spurred Stanford on to undertake 
advanced photographic projects with Muybridge at the Palo 
Alto Farm, sent a message to Muybridge. 19 He begged 
Muybridge's help in solving certain problems concerning the 
flight of birds on which he was working. He also suggested that 
Muybridge might utilize his photographs for the preparation of 
zoetropes: "It would be animated zoology. So far as artists are 
concerned, it would create a revolution." [For a discussion of 
the exchange of information between Marey and Muybridge, see 
"Marey, Muybridge and Meissonier". For the text of the letter, 
see Documents, C] 

Marey was only one of the many who had seen in the 
sequential photographs of Muybridge the possibilitity of their 
use in the zoetrope, the "philosophical toy" that adapted a 
sequence of drawings to a paper band which was placed in a 
rotating drum for viewing. When the drum was whirled, the 
drawings, seen through slits in its upper edge, gave the illusion 
of continuous, lifelike motion. By January, 1879, Emile 
Duhousset wrote from Paris that he had adapted the Muybridge 
photographs in an old phenakistoscope to good effect. The 
journal L'lllustration, in which Duhousset's article was 
published, was soon offering bands for the zoetrope of 
silhouettes made from the Muybridge photographs, for 10 
francs. In June, W.B. Tegetmeier of London wrote in The Field 
that he had mounted the Muybridge pictures in a zoetrope with 
satisfactory effect. Somewhat later, he offered bands for the 
praxinoscope for sale under his own copyright. In July, Fairman 
Rogers, of Philadelphia, writing in The Art Interchange, stated 
that the painter Thomas Eakins "had plotted ... the successive 
positions of the photographs and constructed, most ingeniously, 


^^i* *s^fr ~^& n& Tit** 

_^5__ *^5& *?2_ ^-^r *^y 

by the Author for the Praiinoacope, All rights reserved. 

- . 

the trajectories" which were then adapted to bands for the 
zoetrope. 20 

1879: The Zoopraxiscope 

We learn from Fairman Rogers's communication that Stanford 
and Muybridge had utilized the zoetrope for the same purpose 
early in 1879. Stanford had become interested in recreating the 
illusion of movement for others when he riffled through a stack 
of the Muybridge motion photographs and discovered the 
stroboscopic effect for himself. At this time, Leland Stanford, 
Jr., had an array of optical toys of different kinds, many of 
which are still in existence, which could have suggested the 

next steps a magic lantern, a stereoscope, several 

chromotropes, a phenakistoscope and a zoetrope. Muybridge, 
again working at Stanford's suggestion and with his blessing, 
now developed his first viewer, a stereoscopic zoetrope based 
on the Wheatstone principle, which he claimed to have adapted 
from a model found in J.H. Pepper's Boy's Play book of Science, 
published in London in 1854. This instrument has vanished 
without a trace, but it was soon succeeded by an ingenious 
second instrument, which Muybridge first called the 
zoogyroscope, later, the zoopraxiscope, on which his fame as an 
early exhibitor of motion pictures came to rest. 

The zoopraxiscope combined a projecting lantern, rotating 
glass disks on which a limited number of hand-painted 
silhouettes (or, later, colored images), adapted from 
Muybridge's sequential photographs, were drawn, and a 
counter-rotating, slotted disk, geared to operate at equal speed, 
which acted as a kind of shuttei and gave the effect of 
intermittent movement, as in the phenakistoscope. 

Send Stamp for 136 Page Catalogue of Magic Lanterns 
and Views. 

r. u McAllister, upticlax, ua Nassau street, -v. y. 







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in tneeng-aving The lower 

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i< . in different positions-, \Wtkh 

.... hand, and looking through the 

blended, so lis iocmc (he Atnires ihe 

land around the Zoetrope 


: Basc-bnil Player, Chewing Gum. Dolphin 

ne, Jig Duucl'i, Johnny Jumper, Keep the 
P, Old Do:- Tray, Haloing Pitchfork*. 

ADDITIONAL PICTURES, GO rettttt per Series. 

SERIES No. 3-J-Wood Chopper. Perpetual Motion, Ring* and Ball". Village Black- 

-milli, liadgend Cut, Hurdle Rao , '-• in Ho--, IW hi- Head off. Lively Arab, Maternal Affection, 
Capeie, Barrel Trick. 

SKRXHS K«, 4.— Leap Frog. Steam Engine, Evil One, Waltzing, Japanese Tumblers. 

Parrel Turner- W I Snuv.-r-, Beau I v und Ihe B< u-t Snap P.ubbU», Edui at.'d Donkey, Town 

Pump, Hubby Hor-.-. 

SERIES No. 5.— Travel hv Telegraph. Paw him round, Man of tbe Moon, Indian Jug- 
gler Unnn Wr.ik Wind Mill. Traii.-ze, Mechanical i~ it, Mis Partington and Dog, The 
Medley, John Chiuuuian, MiKin-iruck, IKS N... 0— Meet me hv Moot.ligld. Noble Art, Old Mill, Plane Ca-e, 
Siit.'li in Time Wnm- Room. Monkey in the Bund. I Quixote, [latched Matched and Dis- 
patched, nope Jumper, Wliar you gwflll 

SERIES No. 7.— Rocking Horse Now you Pee me, Bottle Imp. Footsteps beneath me, 
Sucli ii (.'i-i i iii^ up-i|nir-, Feeding the Che ken-, S« iii^iii_- around the Circle, The Little Jumper, 
See-caw, Lous,- Brunch Cannibal, Coffee Grinder, No you don't. 












Prof. Muybridge's Pictures for the Zoetrope. 

*1.00 per Series of 112 Pictures. 

Iniost every one ha* r :ard of the startling instantaneous Photographs made by Prof. Mtrr- 
k of San Francisco, showing the 


■niprmilivcly few have had an opportunity of -eelng ihe wonderful resnlts of hie labor*. 
,ir tin- pinpo-e nf enabling e\erv one to pariii -ipnie in these marvelous revelations of ihe 
a, Mr Mi TBHim.K has- reproduced, bv photo-HthogTAphy, a "scries of 12 subject*, Ulna- 
l' the nriLon .if ihe n-.r-e dining a walk, an amble, i slow trot, a fast trot, a rack or pace, 
' \ leap over a hurdle , a Hound running, an Ox trotting, a Doer bounding. 
:omprUing in all 15(1 figure-, These arc Photo-Hthograohed on t trips of 
s wide, 3ti inches long, and show the continuous movement of the subject 
with life-like accuracy The illo-lon Is perfect when placed in the Zoetrope or " Wheel of Life." 
and there is the exact appearance of various motions, such as running, trotting, leaping bardies, etc 




•end Stamp for Illustrated Price List of Microscopes, 
Telescopes, Lenses, Etc. 


[Aran 1, 1882. 

{By Our Own Zoopraxitcopist.) 

The zoopraxiscope made its official debut at the Stanfords' 
Palo Alto residence during a private party in the fall of 1879. 21 
According to Muybridge, the images it projected were accurate 
enough for Stanford to identify each horse photographed from 
the rhythm of the gait. [See Documents, E.] Public showings 
throughout the next years justified the Alta's statement: "Mr. 
Muybridge has laid the foundation of a new method of 
entertaining the people, and we predict that his instantaneous, 
photographic, magic-lantern zoetrope will make the rounds of 
the civilized world." 22 Today one may still see Muybridge's 
improved zoopraxiscope in Kingston-upon-Thames, Muybridge's 
birthplace. It stands in lonely splendor, somber and regal, in its 
glass case at the Borough Library. Of it, the British film 
historian Will Day once said, "One looks upon it with 
reverential awe!" 

Muybridge was apparently not able to patent the 
zoopraxiscope either in America, France or England. Thus he 
was careful not to claim to be its inventor. He did claim it to 
be the prototype for "synthetically demonstrating movement 
analytically photographed from life." Certainly, it remained 
the only commercially demonstrated motion-picture projector 
in America for over a decade, or until Thomas Edison exhibited 
his projecting apparatus, the Vitascope, in 1895. 

1880—1882: Fame Abroad and its Consequences 

Stanford had two further projects in mind in 1880. The first 
was to sponsor the preparation of a substantial book on animal 
locomotion based on the data of Muybridge's photographs. The 

second was to sponsor exhibitions "before scientific bodies of 
the East, England and Europe" utilizing the Muybridge 
photographs and zoopraxiscope. To this end, Muybridge 
prepared the pictures for publication, binding up sets of original 
prints into a number of albums, which he titled The Attitudes 
of Animals in Motion, and copyrighting them under his own 
name in 1881. Albums were presented to Leland Stanford, and 
some were later offered for sale abroad. Muybridge also worked 
on his zoopraxiscope lectures in preparation for his appearances 
before the various "art and scientific societies" Stanford would 
select. Stanford had prepared the way for this in 1879, when 
he visited Europe with his family to commission family 
portraits from the French painters Bonnat and Meissonier. 
Meissonier's interest in the Palo Alto experiments had 
encouraged Stanford to invite Muybridge abroad, and to think 
of bringing "the entire equipment of electro-photographic 
apparatus to Europe and continue the experiments there. 

;, 24 

Eadweard Muybridge arrived in Paris in August, 1881. On 
September 26th, Etienne-Jules Marey honored him at a 
reception in his home, where the guests were both foreign and 
French savants "whose names ranked high in the sciences." 25 
During the following months, Muybridge worked with Marey at 
the "Physiological Station," sharing information about his 
photographic procedures and experimenting for the first time 
with the rapid gelatine dry-plate photography which he was 
then to adopt. On 26 November 1881, the art world of Paris 
was rallied to meet Muybridge, for Meissonier (who had 
recently completed Stanford's portrait, into which he had 
painted the Muybridge photographs) played host to 
two-hundred guests representing "the most eminent artists, 
scientists aid literati of the day. . ." 

2 6 

Stanford's name is nowhere mentioned in the guest lists. 
When the Stanford family left Paris for America on the day of 
the Meissonier reception, Muybridge "saw them off on the cars," 
and expressed the utmost concern over the Governor's poor 
health. [See Documents, F.] At first, Stanford's name had been 
mentioned regularly in the press as the enlightened patron who 
had made Muybridge's work possible, but as time went on, 
Muybridge himself became the popular and dominant figure, 
and was lionized on his own account. This was particularly true 
in England in 1882, where his lectures before the Royal 
Institution and the Royal Academy, and the publicity attending 
them, made him the most talked-about entertainer on two 
continents. 27 


Stanford's collaborative relationship with Eadweard 
Muybridge now underwent a decided change, and a series of 
misunderstandings began between the two men which led to an 
unreconcilable breach after almost a decade of productive work 

The Horse in Motion, the book in which Stanford expected 
his findings on animal locomotion to be presented to the 
public, appeared in 1882, while Muybridge was lecturing in 
England. It was a handsome and richly illustrated quarto 
volume, described on the title page as being by "J.D.B. Stillman, 
A.M.,M.D." Muybridge's name did not appear on the title page. 
A portion of Stanford's Preface was intended "to show the 
exact part taken by each of those concerned in the 
investigation." Here Muybridge found himself described as 
having been "employed" by Leland Stanford. Furthermore, the 
statement that he had written on the "method adopted" for 
the Palo Alto experiments was relegated to the Appendix, and 
was heavily edited by Stillman. Still worse must have been the 
fact that only five of the over one-hundred illustrations were 
direct reproductions of his photographs. The vast majority had 
been reduced to silhouettes by pen and ink, then transferred 
for printing to the lithographic stone. 28 

The blow to Muybridge's pride must have been enormous 
when he found that Stanford had seen him as a mere technician 
for the project, and that his personal contributions to The 
Horse in Motion had consequently been distorted. He responded 
with an open letter to Nature (London), in which he sought to 
put the matter straight from his own point of view: "I invented 
the means employed, submitted the result to Mr. Stanford, and 
accomplished the work for his private publication, without 
remuneration. I subsequently suggested, invented and patented 
the more elaborate system of investigation, Mr. Stanford paying 
the actual necessary disbursements, exclusive of the value of my 
time, or my personal expenses. I patented the apparatus and 
copyrighted the resulting photographs for my own exclusive 
benefit. Upon the completion of the work, Mr. Stanford 
presented me with the apparatus. Never having asked or received 
any payment for the photographs, other than as mentioned, I 
accepted this as a voluntary gift; the apparatus under my patents 
being worthless to anyone but myself. These are the facts; and on 
the basis of these I am preparing to assert my rights." 29 

The opposite point of view was expressed by Dr. J.D.B. 

Stillman (pioneer physician of California, and an early friend of 
Stanford in Sacramento), who prepared the text for 
publication: "With regard to the claims of Muybridge that the 
illustrations in silhouette are an infringement of his copyright. I 
have this to say that I can swear that they were all taken at the 
order of Gov. Stanford who paid all the expenses, furnished all 
the apparatus and material and Muybridge furnished me with all 
the copies from which the plates were executed knowing that 
they were to be used for the purpose to which they were to be 
applied. He also furnished him with magic lanterns and 
apparatus which he is now using to amuse the audiences in 
England and the money he used to travel and exhibit the 
movements of animals, and he imposed upon the Governor the 
idea that he possessed the most delicate chemicals enabled to 
produce the results when in fact he was far behind the times 
and processes were in use for years far more delicate and which 
he did not know of until he went to Europe." 


A troublesome legal suit, Osgood vs. Muybridge 
(Stanford's Boston publisher) was begun in the United States 
Circuit Court, Massachusettes District, on 14 September 1882. 
It was never brought to trial and was dismissed without 
prejudice or costs. Muybridge then immediately commenced a 
suit by attachment against Stanford, claiming $50,000 in 
damages. Stanford then claimed that, being interested in the 
study of animal locomotion, he had "solicited and employed" 
Muybridge as an expert photographer; that he had, further, 
employed "expert engineers, electricians, mechanics, assistants 
and laborers to assist in the project; that to him personally 
belonged "all the cameras, plates, paper, chemicals, machinery, 
apparatus, appliances, models, subjects, skill and labor," 
including the skill and labor of Eadweard Muybridge. 
Muybridge lost his second case. It was nonsuited by judgment 
in a motion rendered on 13 February 1885. By this time, 
Stanford's only son, Leland Jr., had died, and his and Mrs. 
Stanford's abiding concern was to establish a university in his 
memory. Muybridge was occupied with his work at the University 
of Pennsylvania. 

Stanford's last thoughts about Muybridge were written to 
Stillman as follows: "I think the fame we have given him has 
turned his head. . ." 31 Stanford's last thoughts about The Horse 
in Motion, which had a singularly bad time of it on the market, 
were these, written to Stillman: "Don't allow the matters to 
worry you. If the people don't buy the book it is their 
misfortune as well as ours. As a money matter, if I am not 


Muybridge, "Studies of Foreshortenings," Mahomet running 1879 
print from wet-plate collodion glass negative 
Photograph 145, Attitudes of Animals in Motion, 1881 
Stanford University Museum of Art 

"Illustrations of the Paces" 

lithograph from Muybridge photograph 

Plate LXXV, J.D.B. Stillman, The Horse in Motion, 1882 

Rare Books and Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries 

called upon to pay more, it is of the past. . ." 32 

The history of the Stanford/Muybridge falling out is a subtle 
one, largely disclosed by the depositions which were gathered in 
1883 by Stanford's lawyers in preparation for contesting the 
suit of attachment brought against Stanford by Muybridge. The 
depositions and letters of Muybridge and others which will be 
cited below, have recently been made available by the George 
Arents Research Library of Syracuse University, where they 
form part of the Collis P. Huntington Collection; they provide 
many of the heretofore missing links in the history. 

We know from the Huntington papers that in the 1870s, 
Stanford and Muybridge grew to be close friends. Muybridge 
used to call at Stanford's Palo Alto house in the evenings, "and 
they would sit together sometimes for several hours talking and 
discussing. . .even when he would come to town [Muybridge] 
would call at the office and see Governor Stanford at any 
time." 33 Business arrangements between them were quite loose. 
Muybridge lived at the Farm and had all his personal and 
professional expenses paid there without question. In fact, 
under the superintendency of Mr. Dibblee Poett, Muybridge had 
carte blanche. Muybridge never set a definite fee for his 
professional services, expecting that Stanford would reward him 
handsomely if he was pleased with the final results of the work. 
Stanford, in turn, allowed Muybridge to copyright the 
photographs in his own name and to take out patents in his 
own name, saying that what he could earn from them was his. 
At one point, Muybridge offered to turn all those copyrights 
and patents over to Stanford, but the gesture was refused. 

Perhaps the first upset in the relationship came when 
Stanford announced that he had invited Dr. J.D.B. Stillman to 
write The Horse in Motion. From the start, Muybridge had 
difficulties with Stillman. The thirty-five page account of his 
work at Palo Alto which Stillman had requested of him for 
inclusion in the book was set aside as "ungrammatical, 
redundant and full of hyperbole, which would make the whole 
thing ridiculous just like that newspaper article published in the 
Examiner. . ."^Muybridge wrote a short statement in place of 
it, and even this Stillman subsequently altered to suit his 
purposes without Muybridge 's knowledge or approval. In this 
matter Frank Shay took sides with Stillman rather than with 
Muybridge. Shay had replaced Poett as superintendent of Palo 
Alto Farm, and under his regime things began to tighten up a 
bit for Muybridge. For example, on Muybridge's departure for 

Europe, Frank Shay and Ariel Lathrop fixed upon $2,000 as a 
suitable amount to pay him for his several years of work for 
Leland Stanford. This Muybridge accepted, but the amount 
must have seemed shockingly little to him. 

That Stanford and Muybridge remained friends even after 
this incident we know from Muybridge's letter to Frank Shay 
of November 28, 1881, cited above. We also know that 
Muybridge had been unsuccessfully trying to interest Stanford 
in supporting new photographic experiments abroad: "I have 
been waiting the disposition of the Governor since the 1st Octr. 
. . .1 believe he proposes to return next spring; by that time I 
shall hope to be in full operation experimenting with new 

» 35 

As it became apparent that Stanford was not picking up his 
option to finance further experiments abroad, Muybridge 
overplayed his hand, first by indicating to Shay that he would 
shortly visit England "for the purpose of inducing some 
wealthy gentleman (to whom I have letters of introduction) to 
provide the necessary funds for pursuing and indeed completing 
the investigation of animal motion. . ." 36 then by announcing 
on December 23rd that "important events have transpired 
which will render an extended residence in Paris necessary; and 
at the same time relieve me of the anxiety under which, as you 
well know, I have for a long time been existing." 


The project as outlined by Muybridge (but never completed) 
was for Meissonier, Marey, a "capitalist" friend of Meissonier's 
and Muybridge to collaborate on "a new series of investigations 
which I intend shall throw all those executed at Palo Alto 
altogether in the shade. " 38 Governor Stanford was asked to join 
in this project, but he evidently declined. Why join in a project 
that would throw his Palo Alto project "altogether in the 
shade"? The unfortunate wording of Muybridge's letter shows 
that he was, on the one hand, angry with Leland Stanford for 
undervaluing him; and, on the other hand, that he was painfully 
reluctant to lose him as a patron: "one of the conditions of 
the agreement is, that Meissonier is to have control of the 
results, and that I shall assign to him my present American and 
European copyrights and also those I make next season. In 
consideration of which I shall receive payment for the times I 
was working in connection with their production, and at my 
ordinary rate of payment for work in California, this will of 
course be quite a sum. M. Meissonier himself is not activated by 
any selfish motives, neither do I suppose is his friend (who the 


"friend" is I do not know) for he assures me he is very rich; 
but I really believe and so does M. Meissonier it will be an 
investment that will pay for itself, and very probably a 
profitable one." 

This playing off of Stanford against the competition of an 
unknown "capitalist" brought only negative results. These 
Muybridge felt in England in 1882 when The Horse In Motion 
came out without his name on the title page as he had 
expected. The suit of attachment which followed closed the 
door on further Stanford/Muybridge collaboration. 

The cruelest blow dealt Muybridge during the trial was 
dealt by Stillman in a letter to Alfred Cohen, Stanford's 
lawyer: "... I believe Muybridge to be a very unsafe and 
unscrupulous man. If he does not wear hay on his horn he does 
carry a pistol in his pocket and he did shoot a friend in the 
back and plead insanity." 40 

One little-known fact about Dr. J.D.B. Stillman serves to put 
his critical ability in perspective. In a careful reading of The 
Horse in Motion made in November, 1882, by Wm. R. French, 
brother of the American sculptor, Daniel Chester French, 
twenty-seven errors were found in the plates; forty-nine errors 
were found in the first four chapters alone. He thought that 
"A person entirely unacquainted with anatomy could hardly 
hope to find his way through the entaglements. . ." 41 Sartor 

1882-1904: Further Studies and Retirement 

While the Stanford years were Muybridge's years of creative 
expansion, the years which followed were his years of greatest 

Muybridge, Animals in Motion, 1899, p. 159 

acclaim, both here and abroad. From 1882 to 1884, he was 
heavily occupied as a public speaker in America. His topics 
were: "The Attitudes of Animals in Motion," and "The 
Romance and Reality of Animal Locomotion." Now came his 
invitation to carry out an exacting program of camera research 
at the University of Pennsylvania, where he worked during 
1884 and 1885 with elaborate batteries of cameras to produce 
the some 100,000 photographs of animals and the human figure 
in motion which were published in the fall of 1887 as Animal 

This gigantic work, which is known today as his magnum 
opus, led to subsequent lecture tours in America, Great Britain, 
Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland. His lecture topic was 
"The Science of Animal Locomotion in its Relation to Design in 
Art." In 1893 Muybridge projected his pictures at the World's 
Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and in a "motion picture 
theatre" expressly built for that purpose. His Descriptive 
Zob'praxography, or the Science of Animal Locomotion Made 
Popular, was published by the University of Pennsylvania at this 

Around 1894, Eadweard Muybridge returned to England and 
settled again in his birthplace, Kingston-upon-Thames. Between 
1894 and 1896, he carried out busy lecture schedules in the 
British Isles. In the fall of 1897, he completed negotiations 
with the London firm of Chapman & Hall for the proper 
publication of the two volumes in which he planned to 
summarize his life's work: Animals in Motion (1899) and The 
Human Figure in Motion (1901). His satisfaction in seeing these 
two volumes of photographs in print, financially rewarding, and 
within reach of students, scholars and artists, carried him along 
for the next years in the glow of pride and comfortable 
retirement. He prepared an enormous scrapbook of his press 





Muybridge, Plate 489, Animal Locomotion 1887 

Model No. 95, "an ex-athlete, aged about sixty. . . A, ascending incline; 

B, ascending incline with 50-lb. dumb-bell; C, descending incline 

D, descending incline with 50-lb. dumb-bell." 

gravure print, 17 5/8 x 25 3/8 in., Stanford University Museum of Art 



Tic SUber eintS [n*.tn Sulrpd dciatbro in 
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A page from the scrapbook of clippings and leaflets that 
Muybridge assembled during his retirement in Kingston-upon-Thames 
256 numbered pages, 10% x 8% in., and many inserted pages 
Central Library, Kingston-upon-Thames 

clippings, which he bequeathed, along with his accumulation of 
negatives, lantern slides, technical books and instruments, to the 
Kingston Borough Library. He lived to see the advent of the 
commercial motion picture, and with it, the rise of the 
numerous claimants who said that they had "invented" the 
cinema. Only once did he involve himself in this controversy. In 
1897 he reminded the editor of the Camera Club Journal of the 
fact that he had himself accomplished the synthesis of 
instantaneously taken analytical photographs in the 
zoopraxiscope as early as 1879; that Marey's "successful 
obtainment of consecutive phases of motion with a single lens 
upon a strip of sensitized material" (in 1882) represented, in 
his opinion, the next stage of improvements; and that Edison's 
"first application of a strip or ribbon containing a number of. . . 
figures in a straight line (instead of being arranged on a large 
glass disk), for lantern projection" (in 1893) was the final 
bridge to the modern cinema. 


He later made similar statements in the Prefaces to The 
Horse in Motion and The Human Figure in Motion. With these 
statements clearly made, and his own position in the 
development of the study of motion put on record, Muybridge 
withdrew from professional concerns entirely. He relinquished 

his work with dignity and serenity, clear about the future: 
"Science advances." He foresaw the story film, but wanted no 
part in its commercial development. His aims had been artistic 
and scientific. His means had been sufficient to them. 

He took up the homely life of family, friends, reading and 
gardening. At the time of his death in 1904, he was 
constructing a scale model of the Great Lakes in his garden. 

Muybridge's work remains one of the great monuments of 
nineteenth-century artistic and scientific endeavor. Its prophetic 
character still influences artists and scientists today. How 
prophetic it was may perhaps best be seen in the prediction 
which he made in Animals in Motion: in the not too distant 
future, he wrote, "instruments will be constructed that will not 
only reproduce visible actions simultaneously with audible 
words, but an entire opera, with the gestures, facial expressions, 
and songs of the performers, with all the accompanying music, 
will be recorded and reproduced by an apparatus combining the 
principles of the zoopraxiscope and the phonograph, for the 
instruction and entertainment of an audience long after the 
original participants have passed away. . ." 43 


1. Business advertisement for "E. J. Muygridge, 113 Montgomery 
Street and 163 Clay Street, San Francisco," c. 1858. The 
California Historical Society, San Francisco. 

2. The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. The 
Bradley & Rulofson firm first published Muybridge's work in 
1873. After his return from Central America in 1875, 
Muybridge's publisher was Morse. 

3. Helen Hunt Jackson, Bits of Travel at Home, Boston, 1886, p. 
86. This is an anthology of the author's articles on travel in the 
United States, which were serialized in Boston newspapers in 
the 1870s. Portions published in 1872 are found in 
Muybridge's Scrapbook at the Borough Library, 
Kingston-upon-Thames, p. 9. For a description of the 
scrapbook that he assembled toward the end of his life, see 
illustration, p. 32. 

Alta California (San Francisco), 30 August 1877. Kingston 
Scrapbook, p. 19. Muybridge always gave Stanford full credit 
for the idea of applying photography to the study of the horse 
in motion, but not for the procedures developed to do it. The 
so-called "bet" as a motivation for the experiments has, in the 
writer's estimation, no bearing on the experimental work, and, 
as a consequence, has been left out of the present discussion. 
E. J. Muybridge, Animals in Motion, London, 1899. All 
following brief Muybridge quotations whose source is not given 
are from his Preface to this publication. 
Alta California, 7 April 1873. 

This episode in Muybridge's life has also, in the writer's 
opinion, been overemphasized, in relation to his work, 
particularly by Terry Ramsaye, in A Million and One Nights, 
New York, 1926. 


8. San Francisco Bulletin, 3 August 1877. Kingston Scrapbook, p. 
19. This evidence that Muybridge had an inventive and 
independently theoretical turn of mind is borne out also by a 
series of mechanisms that he developed and often sought to 
patent: 1) a plate-printing apparatus, 2) a washing machine, 3) 
a sky-shade for landscape photography, 4) a method for 
photographing objects in motion, 5) the zoopraxiscope, 6) a 
pneumatic clock, 7 ) a picture-feeding device for magic lanterns. 
He was apparently well-qualified to oversee and coordinate the 
technical aspects of the Stanford /Muybridge research. [See 
Documents, A.] 

9. Alta California, 30 August 1877. Kingston Scrapbook, p. 19. 
Quoted from Muybridge 's letter of 24 August to MacCrellish, 
editor of the Alta. 

10. Ibid. Quoted from MacCrellish 's comments. 

11. San Francisco Evening Post, September 1877. Kingston 
Scrapbook, p. 12. 

12. For further discussion of this curious recent find at the 
Stanford Museum, see "Catalogue and Notes on the Work." 
There was certainly a photographic plate of Occident, quite 
apart from Muybridge 's copy negative of the painting based 
on that plate. 

13. The Stanford Museum holds two canvases by P.R. Van Zandt 
of Albany, New York: 1) a sketch of Abe Edgington, 
"September 13, 1876 " (and on the stretcher, in pencil, "Oct. 
3, 1876," which may have been the day of its receipt by 
Stanford); 2) an oil painting of Edgington based on the sketch, 
but with minor correction of position, "Feb. 1877." 

14. San Francisco Evening Post, 3 August 1877. Kingston 
Scrapbook, p. 17. 

15. British Journal Photographic Almanac, 1872/1873, p. 115. 
Rejlander's proposal was theoretical. 

16. Depositions of Arthur Brown (18 July 1883), John D. Isaacs 
(18 July 1883), and Frank Shay (23 July 1883) in the case 
Stanford vs. Muybridge. The Collis P. Huntington Collection, 
George Arents Research Library, Syracuse University. See also 
Resources of California, August 1878. Kingston Scrapbook, p. 
28. The name of John D. Isaacs, who was later said to have 
"devised the electrical equipment" for the project, was never 
publicly mentioned in contemporary sources. In the writer's 
opinion, Isaacs's status was overestimated in the 
"Semi-Centennial" celebration held at Stanford University in 

17. Letter, John D. Isaacs to H. C. Peterson, curator of the 
Stanford Museum, 15 February 1916. Stanford University 
Archives. In his deposition, Isaacs had previously credited Mr. 
Paul Seller with an alteration in the mechanism, which changed 
it to "operate the release by making instead of breaking 
contact. . ." Contemporary accounts are apt to connect the use 
of electricity in the Stanford/Muybridge project to Stanford's 

earlier experience with it when he drove the final spike for the 
transcontinental railroad in 1869, and simultaneously 
telegraphed the news to the world. 

18. San Francisco Morn ing Call, 8 June 1878. 

19. Marey 's letter to La Nature is dated 18 December 1878. It was 
printed in the December 28th issue and appeared in English 
translation as well in the San Francisco Morning Call, 23 
February 1879. Muybridge responded to Marey in La Nature, 
22 March 1879. [See Documents, C, for texts of the 

20. The Art Interchange (Philadelphia), 9 July 1879. [See 
Documents, D, for the full text.] Eakins' s use of Muybridge's 
The Horse in Motion photographs in teaching at the 
Pennsylvania Academy led to his later supporting the 
University of Pennsylvania's invitation to Muybridge to 
undertake further research there. Eakins and Muybridge 
worked together for a brief period. 

21. Cited in George T. Clark, Leland Stanford, War Governor of 
California, Railroad Builder and Founder of Stanford 
University, Stanford University Press, 1931, pp. 367-68. Mr. 
Frank Shay dated the first private showing as July 1878, "with 
quite a number of private exhibitions in Governor Stanford's 
house in San Francisco following. . ." (Deposition of Frank 
Shay, 23 July 1883). Shay, however, gave a wrong date for 
another important event, and may also be inaccurate in this 
case. [See introduction to Documents, E.] Another private 
showing was held at the Stanfords' San Francisco residence on 
20 January 1880 (Kingston Scrapbook, p. 57), nine days after 
Muybridge photographed the solar eclipse at Palo Alto for 
Leland Stanford. The first public performance, recorded in 
several San Francisco newspapers, was on 4 May 1880 at the 
chambers of the San Francisco Art Association. Kingston 
Scrapbook, p. 58. 

22. Alta California, 5 May 1880. Kingston Scrapbook, p. 58. 
Muybridge successfully exhibited his motion pictures before 
paying audiences from 1880 to 1897, when he retired from 
photography to prepare Animals in Motion and The Human 
Figure in Motion for publication. 

23. Animals in Motion, p. 4. The zoopraxiscope was preceded by 
various projecting machines,even projecting phenakistoscopes, 
which were developed in both Europe and America. None of 
these, however, used images "analytically photographed from 
life," but only pre-posed sequences that did not require 
instantaneous photography as a component. 

24. San Francisco Examiner, 6 February 1881. [See Documents, 
E.] Many San Francisco newspapers reported Stanford's 
intention of carrying the results of the experiments abroad. 
Kingston Scrapbook, p. 65. 

25. Alta California, 16 November 1881. Kingston Scrapbook, p. 


26. The Marey reception: Le Globe, 27 September 1881. The 
Meissonier reception: Figaro, 27 November 1881. [For an 
excerpt from Le Globe, see Documents, I.] Kingston 
Scrapbook, pp. 68, 71. 

27. The British Journal of Photography for 17 March 1882 
reports: "On Monday evening, at the Royal Institution, 
Albemarle-street, the first public exhibition in this country 
was given [by Muy bridge] in the presence of the Prince and 
Princess of Wales, the Princesses Louise, Victoria and Maud, 
the Duke of Edinburgh and suite, whilst among the leaders of 
the scientific and literary world we recognized Professors 
Tyndall, Huxley, Owen, and Gladstone, the Poet Laureate, 
and many others. 

"On Tuesday evening last, again, in the lecture room of the 
Royal Academy, in the presence of Sir Frederick Leighton 
and most of the Academicians and Associates and a large 
number of guests, the exhibition was repeated, to the evident 
satisfaction of all, as the hearty applause which greeted most 
of the pictures testified." Kingston Scrapbook, p. 75. 

28. J.D.B. Stillman, The Horse in Motion, Boston, 1882. 
Muybridge claimed that before he left America, he had 
approved a different title page, which included his name, and 
that Stillman had assured him that the book was to be 
"photographically illustrated." [For Stanford's Preface, see 
Documents, F. For Muybridge 's claim, see Documents, H.] 

29. Nature (London), 27 April 1882. Kingston Scrapbook, p. 83. 
[For full text, see Documents, F.] Muybridge maintained the 
position that he stated here throughout his lifetime. Always 
an independent, he did not relish being called an employee. 
The issue was resolved after Stanford's death in 1893, when 
Muybridge assumed full rights to the pictures and 
reestablished his public image by reproducing them 
photographically as part of his Animals in Motion and The 
Human Figure in Motion. 

30. Letter, Stillman to the publisher, James Osgood & Co., 10 
April 1882. Stanford University Archives. Stillman may have 
been referring to the faster gelatine process, which was not 
available when the Stanford/Muybridge experiments were 
going on. 

31. Letter, Stanford to Stillman, 23 October 1882. Stanford 
University Archives. [For the full text, see Documents, F.] 

32. Letter, Stanford to Stillman, 5 January 1883. Stanford 
University Archives. 

33. Deposition of Frank Shay, 23 July, 1883, in Stanford vs. 
Muybridge. This deposition and depositions and letters cited 
below are in the Huntington Collection, George Arents 
Research Library, Syracuse University. 

34. Deposition of J.D.B. Stillman, 7 August 1883. [See 
Documents, E.] 

35. Letter, Muybridge to Frank Shay, 28 November 1881. [The 
matter can be followed in the material reprinted in 
Documents, F.] 

36. Ibid. 

37. Letter, Muybridge to Frank Shay, 23 December 1881. 

38. Ibid. 

39. Ibid. 

40. Letter, Stillman to Alfred A. Cohen, 25 July 1883. 

41. William R. French, The Horse in Motion, Notes and 
Criticisms, November, 1882. Manuscript, University of 
Pennsylvania Library. 

42. The Journal of the Camera Club, London, p. 190 ff. Kingston 
Scrapbook, p. 196, ff. [For Muybridge's letter, dated 9 
November 1897, see Documents, I.] Photography of motion 
was not Muybridge's only interest after 1882. He continued 
his landscape photography until the late 1890s. Many views 
taken during this later period exist only in the form of 
lantern slides at the Science Museum, London. 

43. E. Muybridge, Animals in Motion, London, 1899, p. 5. 

Robert Bartlett Haas is Director of Arts and Humanities 
Extension, University of California at Los Angeles. 
His biography, Muybridge, Man in Motion, 
is forthcoming from the University of California Press 


Uncut stereo view of the Stanford residence in Sacramento 

Photographs by Muybridge, 1872-1880 
Catalogue and Notes on the Work 

Anita Ventura Mozley 


The Stanford Sacramento Home 
twenty-three glass negatives, 6 x 10 in. 

The negatives are in the collection of Stanford University 
Archives. Prints from them have been made for the exhibition 
by the photographer Ralph E. Talbert 

In May, 1868, Muybridge announced that "Helios" was 
prepared to accept commissions to photograph "Private 
Residences, Views, Animals, Ships, etc., anywhere in the city, 
or any portion of the Pacific Coast." The photographs of the 
Leland Stanford home at Eighth and N Streets in Sacramento 
are fairly typical of the work he did for the owners of large 
homes or estates in Northern California: the exterior of the 
house is shown, in views from varying distances; the 
entranceway next; the foyer; then the rest of the interior, room 
by room. Often members of the family sit for a portrait; the 
grouping is an informal one, taken as it is among the subjects' 
familiar surroundings. The really exceptional scene in this series 
is that of Jane L. Stanford and her sister playing billiards, while 
her son Leland sits watching. This photograph suggests a greater 
intimacy between Muybridge and the family whose home he 
was photographing than was usually the case. 

Even in his "straight" coverage of the residence's interior, 
Muybridge produces views more dramatic than the heavily 
furnished rooms would seem to afford, for he often shoots 
straight into the sunlit windows, and is obviously not bothered 
by the effect this produces, as a more conventional 
photographer would be. 




ft" ™ 



"^^» "-"""-*" Wl2b III! IIM """I 

Jane L. Stanford, Leland Stanford, Jr., and 
Mary Lathrop in the Stanfords' billiard room 

Leland Stanford bought the Sacramento residence shortly after 
being nominated in 1861 as the Republican (and pro-Union) 
candidate for Governor. In 1871, he had the house raised, a 
basement constructed and additions made, of which the front 
entrance's grand stairway is the most notable. Muybridge's 1872 
photographs of it are presently being studied by the 
Sacramento Landmarks Commission, which is restoring the 
Stanford Home to the condition it was in when the Stanford 
family occupied it. 


Valley of the Yosemite, Early Morning from Moonlight Rock B&R 2 
Yosemite National Park Museum 


Views of the Valley of the Yosemite, The Sierra Nevada 
Mountains and The Mariposa Grove of Mammoth Trees 

Albumen prints from wet-plate collodion glass negatives 

Fifty-one 18 x 22 in. views (Bradley & Rulofson catalogue 
numbers 1-51). 1 Titled and mounted on 22 x 26 in. tinted 

Thirty-six 5V2 x 8V2 in. views (B&R 4173-4208). Mounted on 
boards 11 x 14 in. 

Three-hundred and seventy-nine stereos, each frame 3 x 3V4 in. 
(B&R 1131-1509). Mounted on cards for the steroscope 

Published by Bradley & Rulofson, San Francisco, 1873 

Prints from this series selected for the exhibition are from the 
collections of the Yosemite National Park Museum, the Oakland 
Museum and the Stanford University Museum of Art 

The 1872 series of Yosemite views was Muybridge's first major 
photographic work. He realized this himself: for the first 
time he issued photographs under his own name, rather than 
under the pseudonym "Helios." His publisher, Bradley & 
Rulofson, advertised them as "the most perfect photographs 
ever offered for public inspection," and were more justified in 
the boast than is usually the case. The superiority of the 1872 
series was acknowledged by the judges of landscape 
photography at the Vienna Exhibition of 1873, who awarded 
the Muybridge views the International Gold Medal for 
Landscape. (Bradley & Rulofson was quick to capitalize upon 
their prize-winning photographic artist; they thereafter added to 
their stamp, which already carried medals for preeminence in 
"San Francisco" and "The United States," the legend, "The 
World.") And another example of high critical acclaim from 
abroad is found in the regular monthly letter to the journal The 
Philadelphia Photographer from Dr. Hermann Wilhelm Vogel, a 
photographer himself, professor at the Berlin Technische 
Hochschule, inventor, author and, later, teacher of Alfred 
Stieglitz. 2 The following remarks on Muybridge's Yosemite 
photographs appeared in The Photographer for February, 1874, 
under the heading "German Correspondence": 

"Two American novelties have recently attracted a good deal 

of attention here; one of them, landscapes by Mr. Muybridge of 
San Francisco. To the visitors of the Vienna Exhibition these 
pictures were no novelties, but in Berlin, they were not 
generally known, and the excellence and large size of the plates, 
the brilliancy of tone, the happy selection of the objects, 
excited general admiration. 

"Landscapes of this size are the exception here, and the 
thought that Muybridge, with his mammoth camera for plates 
of twenty-two inches, climbed mountains, fills many a one with 
admiration and respect. ..." 

Muybridge had made his first trip to photograph Yosemite 
Valley in 1867; he was the fourth photographer we know of 
who ventured there. 3 On his 1867 trip he had produced 
seventy-two 6 x 8 in. views and one-hundred and fourteen 
stereos. These are presently largely unknown and unstudied; 
twenty of them are used as illustrations for the first guidebook 
to the Valley, Yosemite: Its Wonders and Its Beauties, "by 
John S. Hittlell, illustrated with Twenty Photographic Views 
Taken by 'Helios' and a map of the Valley," San Francisco, 
H.H. Bancroft, 1868. 4 But the Hittell book is rare, and actually 
affords little idea of the quality of Muybridge's photographs, 
for the illustrations are copy reductions from the original 6x8 
in. prints. Muybridge, as publisher of the mounted series of 
contact prints from his 1867 negatives, had announced them as 
the work of "Helios," and had declared that: "For artistic 
effect, and careful manipulation, they are pronounced by all 
the best landscape painters and photographers in the city to be 
the most exquisite photographic views ever produced on this 
coast." As with his 1872 series, contemporary comment then 
bore him out. The Alta California for 17 February 1868 said: 

"The views surpass in artistic excellence, anything that has 
yet been published in San Francisco. . . .In some of the series, 
we have just such cloud effects as we see in nature or 
oil-painting, but almost never in a photograph." 5 

This was a comment also on the earlier cloudless Yosemite 
photographs of Carleton E. Watkins, as well as a suggestion that 
by 1867 Muybridge had in use a device of his invention called 
"The Sky Shade" [see Documents, A], a shutter which allowed 
for varying exposures on a single plate, both vertically and 
horizontally, to compensate for the plate's difference in 
sensitivity to different colors in the landscape. The sky's being so 
particularly remarked in the Alta review indicates that it was 
particularly effective; one can hardly imagine being in full grasp 
of the splendor of Yosemite Valley under a cloudless sky. 
Particularly, the "cloud effects" recommended Muybridge's 


work as "more artistic" than that of his predecessors in the 

The Philadelphia Photographer for November, 1869, carried 
an article on the results of Muybridge's first Yosemite trip 
along with a print from one of the many negatives he sent to 
the journal's editor, Edward L. Wilson. The description of the 
difficulties of a photographic expedition to Yosemite Valley 
should be kept in mind in considering all of Muybridge's later 
expeditions with wet-plate gear; it is particularly relevant to the 
1872 series, for which he used much large and heavier 
equipment: 6 

"Through the kindness of Mr. Edward [sic] J. Muybridge, 
San Francisco, California, who has loaned us the negatives, we 
are enabled to present our readers with a view in the great 
Yosemite Valley, California. . . . [The series of views] were 
taken by the indefatigable and untiring 'Helios,' before the 
great railroad belt that binds the Atlantic with the Pacific was 
completed. They were also made by one with a true artist's eye 
and feeling, and are therefore, precious, and as fine as precious. 
To photograph in such a place is not ordinary work. It differs 
somewhat from spending a few hours with the camera in 
Fairmount [Philadelphia] or Central Park [New York City]. All 
the traps, and appliances, and chemicals, and stores, and 
provender, have to be got together, and then pack-mules 
secured to carry the load, and drivers to have charge of them. 
Thus accoutred, the photographer starts out, say, from San 
Francisco, through hill and vale, across deep fords, over rugged 
rocks, down steep inclines, and up gorgeous heights, for a 
journey of one-hundred and fifty miles. Several days are thus 
occupied, and several nights of rest are needed along the road. 7 

" 'Helios' has outdone all competitors. His views are grand, 
and, as a photographer, he might vie with the great Wilson, of 
Scotland. . . . 

" 'Helios' hopes to go to the Valley again some time soon, 
when he promises to secure us some more splendid subjects." 

Muybridge's 1872 trip to the Valley and the surrounding high 
country was far more ambitious, in size and variety of 
equipment and in the number and range of views taken, than 
that of 1867 had been. In a prospectus issued from Thomas 
Houseworth's San Francisco studio in May, 1872, he made 
public his plan for the series, which was already under way, and 
sought further subscriptions: 

"I am encouraged in this undertaking from the generally 

expressed opinion, especially of our best Art Critics, that 
although many carefully executed large-size photographs of our 
scenery have already been published, yet the wonderful 
improvement in the science of photographic manipulation, and 
a judicious selection of points of view, with an aim at the 
highest artistic treatment the subject affords, will result in a 
more complete realization than has hitherto been accomplished 
of the vast grandeur and pictorial beauty for which our State 
and Coast have so worldwide a reputation. To those gentlemen 
who are acquainted with my works, or with me personally, it 
will be merely necessary for me to refer to the numerous 
smaller photographs of my execution as an earnest of what may 
be expected as the result of my anticipated labors, and to 
remark that I have now an outfit of lenses and apparatus 
superior to any other in the United States. . . . 

"The size of my proposed negatives will be 20 x 24 inches, 
and the prints about 18 x 22, of which subscribers for each one 
hundred dollars subscribed will be entitled to select FORTY 
from the whole series, to be printed and mounted upon India 
tinted boards. . . .Receive the assurance that all my energies 
shall be directed toward rendering this proposed series the most 
acceptable photographic publication ever issued in the United 
States, with the object of attracting attention to the 
magnificent scenery of our own State and Coast in a manner 
worthy of the theme." 8 

When the prospectus was issued, it carried in set type the 
names of a number of outstanding businessmen, artists, and 
photographers of San Francisco. On his own copy of the 
prospectus, Muybridge added, in his own hand, the names of 
additional subscribers, including the Pacific Mail Steamship 
Company, and the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads, 
each of which subscribed $1,000, or the equivalent of ten sets 
each. Although Leland Stanford is not listed as an individual 
subscriber, he was then president of the Central Pacific, and 
must have authorized the subscription. 9 

Although the prospectus was not issued until May, by late 
April, Muybridge had already produced a number of large views, 
which he showed in Sacramento, in what must have been an 
interlude of rest and subscription seeking. The Sacramento 
Union for 26 April 1872 reports that: 

"We had an opportunity of looking last evening at some 
very fine large-sized photographic negatives representing some 
of the most picturesque views of Yosemite Valley. . . . They 
are the production of Edward [sic] Muybridge. . . 10 


Pi-Wi-Ack (Shower of Stars), "Vernal Fall" B&R 23 
Oakland Museum 

Yosemite Creek, Summit of the Falls at Low Water B&R 44 
Oakland Museum 

Ancient Glacier Channel, at Lake Tenaya B&R 47 
Yosemite National Park Museum 

The High Sierra, from Glacier Rock B&R 38 
Yosemite National Park Museum 

Muy bridge stayed in Sacramento briefly; by July, he was 
back in Yosemite. It was during this brief stay that he may 
have been in touch with Leland Stanford, and made the first 
attempt to photograph Occident in motion. 

Throughout the spring and summer, Muybridge took pictures 
of Yosemite's meadows and waterfalls and the granite walls 
that surround them. News of his photographic feats reached the 
San Francisco newspapers. The Alta California for 7 April 1872 

". . .he has waited several days in a neighborhood to get the 
proper conditions of atmosphere for some of his views; he has 
cut down trees by the score that interfered with the cameras 
from the best point of sight; 11 he had himself lowered by ropes 
down precipices to establish his instruments in places where the 
full beauty of the object to be photographed could be 
transferred to the negative; he has gone to points where his 
packers refused to follow him, and he has carried the apparatus 
himself rather than to forego the picture on which he has set 
his mind." 

Muybridge returned to San Francisco from the Valley by 
way of the High Sierra and the Mariposa Grove of Mammoth 
Trees in the late fall of 1872. He spent the next five months 
printing his negatives for Bradley & Rulofson, who had by this 
time lured him away from Houseworth (the publisher from 
whose studio he has issued his prospectus) with their superior 
printing and mounting apparatus, [see Documents, A] . The 
series was ready for publication in April, 1873; it brought 
Muybridge over $20,000 in income, and the popular and critical 
acclaim quoted above. From then onward, he was the 
acknowledged leader of his profession in San Francisco. 

What is there in the work produced on this great photographic 
expedition that recommends it above that of Muybridge's 
predecessors? Taken individually, the prints are richer in color 
and more varied in tone than the work of Watkins, to whom 
Muybridge is most often compared. The composition is more 
dramatic, and the view more extensive. The first aspect was 
governed by Muybridge's formulas, those for the collodion that 
formed the light-sensitive coating for his glass plates, and for his 
developer. In the days of wet-plate negatives, these formulas 
were the personal equipment of every photographer; they varied 
to suit the indivudal's purpose. There were no packaged goods. 

The Philadelphia Photographer carries many different recipes 
during these years for variations of individually worked-out 
formulas that were suited to the various practices of the 
photographers who submitted them. The second aspect, the 
drama of composition, is an attribute of Muybridge's own 
vision as a photographer. It is governed, of course, by the 
wide-angle lens that he chose to use, which made the 
backgrounds recede and the angle of vision expand to heighten 
the view of the Valley of the Yosemite, a view that is dramatic 
enough, just as the eye sees it. 

As a series, seen most clearly in the large views, the 
Muybridge photographs offer a coverage of the Valley, its upper 
rim and the high glacial country surrounding it that had not 
before been presented. Many of the new points of view from 
which Muybridge took his photographs were available to him 
because new trails had been built by 1872; earlier 
photographers could not reach these viewpoints. Also, 
Muybridge dared more, and pushed himself farther than anyone 
before him had done. He was more ambitious; as Robert Haas 
says in his preceding biography, he was "athletic." He moved 
around the Valley's floor systematically, then covered the high 
ground with unprecedented thoroughness. In following 
Muybridge's work in the large views, the viewer moves with 
him, and has recreated for him the motion of a trip around and 
above the Yosemite Valley; it is a thorough photographic tour, 
as well as a surpassingly beautiful one. 

Muybridge carried all three of his different sized cameras on 
this tour, making b l A x 8V2 views and stereos as well as the large 
views. As for the smaller views, and especially the numerous 
stereos, they complement the large ones, and are often taken 
from the same standpoint. One group of stereos, however, 
offers a more intimate sense of the photographer's vision. They 
are called "Yosemite Studies" (B&R 1408-1479), and in them 
Muybridge concentrates on light and shadow, on reflections in 
the Merced, the river that runs through the Valley, and on 
individual trees and rock formations. These are comparable to 
his earlier "Studies of Trees" and "Studies of Clouds" in their 
focus on one feature of the whole landscape. In them, as in the 
earlier "Studies," Muybridge made sketches, and identified 
through his camera the smaller views that he used in the 
composition of this major landscape work, the 18 x 22 in. 
views of the Valley of the Yosemite, the High Sierra and the 
Mariposa Grove of Mammoth Trees. 



The Modoc War 

albumen prints from wet-plate collodion glass negatives 

Thirty-one stereos, each frame 3 1/8x3 in. (B&R 1601-1631.) 
Mounted on cards for the stereoscope 

Published by Bradley & Rulofson, San Francisco, 1873 

Stereos from the series selected for the exhibition are from the 
collections of Robert B. Haas, Nancy and Beaumont Newhall 
and the California Historical Society, San Francisco 

From November, 1872, when a small group of Modoc Indians 
moved, at gunpoint, from their settlement at Lost River, 
Oregon, to the natural fortifications of the Lava Beds, until 
June, 1873, fifty-two Modoc warriors held out against 
one-thousand Army troops, seventy-eight Warm Spring Indian 
Scouts, and a company of Oregon Volunteers. The band of 
Modocs, under the leadership of Captain Jack, defied the 
Government's telegraphed orders to the Oregon Indian Agent to 
remove them to the reservation in Oregon, where a large 
number of Modocs had lived since 1864 in submissive 
proximity to their ancient enemies, the Klamath Indians. The 
defeat of the rebellious Modocs was hastened by the defection 
of four of their warriors to the Army; the history of the war is 
one of betrayal and close-range murder on both sides. For the 
Indians, the result of it was reprisal and submission to the 
Government's demands. 

Muybridge, in 1881 [see Documents, E], described his 
coverage of this war, which was fought in the rocky caverns 
and fissures of the Lava Beds, south of Tule Lake, near the 
California border with Oregon: 

". . . Mr. Muybridge was dispatched to the front during the 
Modoc war, and the wide spread and accurate knowledge of the 
topography of the memorable Lava Beds and the country 
round-about, and of the personnel of he few Indians who, with 
the bravery at least of the classic three hundred, defied and 
fought the army of the Union, is due chiefly to the 
innumerable and valuable photographs taken by him." 

Muybridge's coverage of the war included photographs of 
Army regulars, Warm Spring Indian Scouts, the wounded being 

brought in after an engagement, panoramas of the Army camp 
on the shores of Tule Lake, Modoc women who were taken 
prisoner, and views of the Lava Beds after the removal of the 
Indian. A photograph by him published as "A Modoc Brave" 
was later identified as the Warm Spring Scout Loa-Kum Ar-nuk. 
He claimed that he went as a Government photographer, and 
copies of his photographs of the series are available from U.S. 
National Archives. But he was accompanied by a correspondent 
of the San Francisco Bulletin, and published his views through 
Bradley & Rulofson, so it is possible that he went on an 
independent commercial venture, as the English photographer 
Robert Fenton, for instance, had gone to the Crimean War as a 
pioneer photographer of war in 1855. 12 

At least one other photographer was present at Tule Lake, 
judging from scenes of the war reproduced as engravings in 
Harper's Weekly and the Illustrated London News in June, 
1873. Fifteen of the thirty-one Muybridge photographs were 
reproduced in halftone in a book published in 1914 by the son 
of Tobey (Modoc name, Wi-ne-ma) and Frank Riddle, who 
served as interpreters at the ill-fated Peace Council of 11 April 
1873. It is from this extraordinary volume, The Indian History 
of the Modoc War, with its illustrations from the Muybridge 
stereographs, that the bitter story of the Indians' months of 
suicidal defiance of the vastly more powerful and numerous 
Army forces can be fully gathered. 


Opposite : 

Warm Spring Indian Scouts in Camp B&R 1628 
Collection Beaumont Newhall 

"A Modoc Warrior on the War Path ' 
Collection Robert B. Haas 

B&R 1626 

Above : 

Tule Lake, Camp South, from the Signal Station 

B&R 1608-09 

California Historical Society 

The School for the Deaf and Blind, Berkeley. Built in 1868, destroyed by fire in 1875. 
Brandenburg Album, p. 65; b l A x 7 7/8 in. 


A West Coast Anthology: The Brandenburg Album of Bradley & 
Rulofson "Celebrities" and Muybridge Photographs 

Albumen prints from wet-plate collodion glass negatives of 
portraits taken in Bradley & Rulofson's San Francisco studios, 
and of copy photographs and views taken by Muybridge 
between 1867 and 1873; 128 pp., 13 x IC/2 in. 

84 studio portraits, 6 x 4 in. and full page 

328 Muybridge photographs, from plates ranging from full stereo 
(3V 2 x 8V2 in.) to 20 x 24 in. (cut to fit the album page) 13 

Original album, Collection Stanford University Museum of Art; 
copy negatives and study prints, Collection California Historical 
Society, San Francisco. Selections from the original album are 
on view in the exhibition 

This album is named in honor of Mr. Melford F. Brandenburg, 
of Sebastopol, California, who rescued it from a second-hand 
shop some twenty years ago. It contains engravings, 

chromolitho prints and photographs studio portraits of actors 

and actresses, singers and acrobats, taken by the various 
photographic artists of Bradley & Rulofson's Gallery, and views 
taken by Muybridge in and near San Francisco, on the Pacific 
Coast, in Alaska, Utah, the Yosemite Valley, the High Sierra 
and the Mariposa Grove between 1867 and 1873. There are 
fifteen copy photographs of drawings, lithographs and 
architectural plans also made by Muybridge. 

This is, possibly, an album kept by Muybridge's wife, Flora 
Stone Muybridge (d. 1875). This is conjecture, but the 
inclusion of studio portraits of theater people, for whom she is 
known to have had an affinity, along with the Muybridge views, 
suggests the possibility. They were married in 1870 or 1871; she 
is said by Robert Haas to have made the floral arrangements for 
Bradley & Rulofson, 14 so the prints would have been readily 
available to her. In the spring of 1874, she bore a son whose 
paternity was questioned. Muybridge murdered Major Henry 
Larkyns, theater critic and man about town, 15 in October, 1874; 

■" ' - * 


yyi >' 

4 v| 



mBSu V ^E 

Point Reyes, to the lighthouse 
Brandenburg Album, p. 56 

this separated him and his wife forever. The circumstances of 
their lives correspond to those dates we can gather from the 
photographs in the album. 

The early date for the album is from a photograph on p. 
147, C, 16 which is a vignette of the same negative that appears 
as photographs No. VI in J.S. Hittell's early guidebook [see 
entry above on Muybridge's Yosemite photographs] . The date 
of the latest photograph in the album is arrived at by 
comparing Muybridge numbers, scratched in pen in the center 
of a stereo negative, with the subjects. The set of stereo views 
on p. 57, of the SS Costa Rica aground (numbers 1659, 1661 
and 1657) were taken on or after 18 September 1873, when 
the steamer foundered at the entrance to San Francisco Bay. 17 


Stereo views, Brandenburg Album, p. 104: 

U.C. Berkeley; 

"Falls of the Yosemite" B&R 1488 

Temple Peaks, Monastery Valley B&R 1511 

Yosemite Studies B&R 1456 

A Bradley & Rulofson "Celebrity" 

Uniform Peak, Monastery Valley B&R 1520 

Tuolumne River B&R 1528 

Yosemite Studies B&R 1408 

Mount Dana from Tuolumne Meadows B&R 1524 

Brandenburg Album, p. 67; 5 J /4 x 8 1/8 in. 

Brandenburg Album, p. 63; 5V2 x 8V4 in. 

But these dates may be eventually superceded by a search of 
the trade of the Vasco de Gama, which appears alongside a 
wharf in photograph A, p. 129. The ship was built in Scotland 
in 1873, and chartered by the Pacific Mail Steamship Company 
in 1875. If she did not call at San Francisco before her charter, 
then we must throw the above conjecture about the album's 
maker overboard. Even so, another tantalizing question is 
raised: Was this the ship that took Muybridge to Panama in 
March of 1875? 

Whatever the personal history of the album may be, it 
contains most of the work in all sizes that Muybridge did 
during these years. Of his documentary work, it is lacking "The 
Missions of California," "The Modoc War" series, of spring 
1873, and "The State Prison at San Quentin," which, according 
to Muy bridge's numbering system, was produced immediately 
after the views of the Costa Rica wreck. 

The album, with its strange joining of the chosen celebrities 
and the Muybridge landscape and other views (a grimacing actor 
cheek-by-jowl with a Yosemite meadow), is a forceful portrait 
of Northern California of the period: men gathering guano 
on the Farallone Island rocks; Miss Ella Chapman posing for the 
portrait that will be published on the cover of the latest song 
hit, "Eureka" Clog Dance; a yacht race on San Francisco Bay; 
the stuffed tigers and the conservatories at Woodward's 
Gardens; an actor garbed for the role of Hercules; views of the 
Point Bonita and Point Reyes lighthouses, of the "Eureka Cut 
Between Shady Run and Alta, Looking West," and many of the 
Yosemite series, including one of Muybridge himself, romping 
in the snow on "The Ascent to Cloud's Rest." 19 The album is, 
as well, an extraordinary record of the work that Muybridge 
did on the West Coast with both stereo and large-view cameras 
up to his departure for Panama in March of 1875. 

The portraits are given the central positions on the pages, 
while the Muybridge prints are pasted in around them, out of 
chronological order, not consistently related in subject, stereo 
views cut in half and appearing on separate pages, and so on. 
The large Yosemite views, which would not fit on the pages of 
this "Scrapbook" are cut into details that would fit. The 
Muybridge views also include single stereos, cut to 3 ! 4 in. 
square, uncut stereos, 3V& x 8V2 in. (varying in both 
dimensions), and single views 6 x 9 in. (also varying slightly in 
both dimensions). The prints are a warm, rich brown, which 
can only be approximated today by toning. The paper is thin, 
with a smooth, slightly gloss surface. 

The studio portraits must correspond to those listed in 
Bradley & Rulofson's Celebrity Catalogue, San Francisco, 1878, 18 
in which the Gallery boasted that it held photographic 
negatives of "everyone of any note that has visited California 
since 1849." The list of notables appeared under the headings: 
"The Federal Government, Hayes, Grant, Lincoln, Governors, 
Congressmen, Mayors, Nobility, His Royal Majesty the King 
Kalakaua, Hawaii, His Grace the Duke of Manchester, Italy, 
India, Germany, France, Army & Navy, The Law, Clergy, 
Masonic, Newspaper Fraternity, Scientists, Authors, Poets & 
Lecturers, Mark Twain, Prof. Agassiz. . . Charles Dickens," etc. 
But the maker of the Brandenburg Album omitted these 
dignitaries, and chose to include only theater people, the 
"Theatrical Managers & Agents, Actors & Actresses. . . 
Acrobats, Magicians, Phrenologists, Spiritualists, Musicians." 

The Ascent to Cloud's Rest B&R 1346 


"Volcan Queszaltenango, " Guatemala 

Rare Books and Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries 


The Pacific Coast of Central America and Mexico, The Isthmus 
of Panama; Guatamala; and the Cultivation and Shipment of 
Coffee, Illustrated by Muybridge, San Francisco, 1876 

Albumen prints from wet-plate collodion glass negatives 

"Over two-hundred views," 6 x 9 in. (varying in both 
dimensions), including twenty views of the coffee industry, a 
"panorama of Guatamala; taken from Carmen Hill and 
consisting of 11 views," and others 20 

Over one-hundred and twenty-five stereos 
Stereographs published in Panama, 1877 

Rare Books and Special Collections, Stanford University 
Libraries, holds two bound albums of 6 x 9 in. views, mounted 
on tinted boards 9 3 A x 13V4 in. Copy negatiyes and prints have 
been made from selected prints in the albums by the 
photographer Leo Holub. Stereographs from the Panama series 
in the exhibition are from the collection of the Stanford 
University Museum of Art 

The Panama Star for 10 March 1875 is "pleased to welcome to 
this city Mr. Muybridge," and further notes: 

"We have no doubt Mr. Muybridge will find around Panama 
many views worthy of his peculiar photographic talent, and 
which will command a prominent place among the 
extra-tropical landscapes with which he has already enriched art 
galleries and expensive illustrated publications in the United 
States. 21 

The views that Muybridge made of the ruined churches of 
Old Panama, of the city's harbor, of landscapes near the coffee 
plantations of Antiqua, and the half-clad workers bathing in 
tropical streams, extend his reputation as an 
"artist-photographer," already confirmed in his earlier series of 
Yosemite and the High Sierra. Muybridge says in his prospectus 
that the phtographs were "executed by instruction from the 
Pacific Mail Steamship Company." While he bows to the stated 

necessity of producing a series of views that would satisfy the 
company's requirements, he clearly had his own goal: 

"The object of the Company in having these views executed, 
was to stimulate commercial intercourse, by exhibiting to the 
Merchant and Capitalist in a convenient and popular manner 
the ports, and facilities of commerce of a country which 
presents such vast fields of profitable enterprize; and the 
principal industries of a people with whom until recently we 
have had comparatively little intercourse. And at the same time 
to gratify the tourist and lovers of the picturesque with a 
glimpse of the wonderfully beautiful scenes that have hitherto 
remained unexplored." 22 

Muybridge offered subscribers one-hundred and twenty 
photographs from the series for $100. Whether he had been 
commissioned by the Pacific Mail was disputed in 1920 by Mr. 
H.C. Peterson, Curator of the Stanford Museum, 23 who also 
gave then the following information about the dispersal of the 

". . .Muybridge had made up five bound sets of selected 
views. One he gave to Mrs. Stanford, one to Frank Shay, for 
many years [1879-1882] Sen. Stanford's private secretary, one 
to Mr. Schrewin, Pres. of the P.M.S.S. Co., one to Prendergast 
[W.W. Pendegast], and one to Mr. Johnston, the latter two 
being the attorneys who defended him in the Larkyns affair. 

"Mrs. Stanford's copy was destroyed in the S.F. Fire of 
1906 [the earthquake of 18 April 1906 was followed by a fire 

that destroyed the Stanford San Francisco home] the 

Prendergast [Pendegast] copy has disappeared [now in the 
California State Library at Sacramento], Mr. Schrewin's copy is 
still in his possession [this may be the copy now in the 
Museum of Modern Art, New York], ab is also the Johnston 
copy in possession of Mr. Johnston [this is one of the copies at 

"This copy was presented, at my suggestion, to Stanford 
University by Mr. Frank Shay in 1915. 

"The original negatives were destroyed by a fire a few weeks 
after these albums were made. As a consequence, there exists 
today but these four bound volumes . . . 

The Johnston copy, inscribed to him by Muybridge, contains 
fifty-nine mounted photographs; the Shay copy, from which 
this inscription is quoted, contains one-hundred and forty-four, 
including a photographic title page similar to the composite of 
Muybridge views Bradley & Rulofson put out as an advertising 
card in 1873. In both copies, the views are identified by 


Ruins of "Church of Conception, " Antiqua 

Rare Books and Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries 

Baranca at Las Nubes, Guatamala 

Rare Books and Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries 

Cemetary, City of Guatamala 

Rare Books and Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries 

Muybridge's handwritten titles beneath them 



The Central America series won Muybridge the gold medal 
at the Eleventh Industrial Exhibition, San Francisco, 1876. The 
jurors cited his previously known "judicious selection of 
subjects, artistic taste and skillful manipulation" and said of the 
photographs: "These last productions of his camera surpass all 
his previous efforts, and their examination renders it difficult to 
believe, that with our present knowledge and taste, 
photography can make much further progress toward absolute 


The tropical landscape of Central America had not, by 1875, 
been unexplored, as Muybridge claimed. Among the painters of 
California landscape who had worked in the tropics by that 
time was Norton Bush (1834-1894), an artist well-known to 
Muybridge (Bush had subscribed to his early Yosemite series), 
who was, in fact, in Peru by the fall of 1875, before 
Muybridge's return to San Francisco in late November or 
December of that year. 26 Bush had visited Panama in the fall of 
1868, sketching the lakes and rivers of the country, and making 
other studies which he developed into larger paintings when he 
returned to California. His work in the tropics was so 
well-known that when he returned in 1870 to New York, his 
native state, and opened a studio in New York City, he was 
known as "California' Tropical Painter." 27 

The point that Muybridge was making, though, was that 
there had been little photographic representation of the tropics 
available in San Francisco. In that tropical landscape, to which 
he traveled immediately after his acquittal, Muybridge produced 
photographs intensely romantic in mood; even those in the 
so-called documentary series of the coffee industry convey the 
strength of this strangeness of feeling; it is more than a 
response to a landscape that was strange to the English-born 
photographer. The inclusion of figures in the foreground is 
more stated than in the Yosemite photographs, and the 
manipulation of cloud effects and moonlight effects, especially 
in the 6 x 9 in. views, more theatrical (more effective) than 
that seen in his earlier work. 

Panoramas of San Francisco from the California Street Hill 

albumen prints from wet-plate collodion glass negatives 

Two panoramas of eleven panels, each approximately 7 3/8 
x 8 1/4 in., mounted on cloth and accordian-bound 
between covers, the whole panorama 7 ft. 6 in. long. 

One panorama of thirteen panels, each 20 1/2 x 16 in., 
mounted on cloth and accordian-bound between covers, the 
whole panorama 17 ft. 4 in. 

Copyright 1877 by Muybridge; published by Morse's Gallery, 
San Francisco 

The thirteen-panel panorama in Rare Books and Special 
Collections, Stanford University Libraries, was presented to 
"Mrs. Leland Stanford, with compliments of the Artist, 1878." 
It has been copied on 8 x 10 in. negatives by the photographer 
Leo Holub and printed in its original size for the exhibition by 
General Graphic Services of San Francisco 

Early in January of 1877, Muybridge set up his camera on the 
tower roof of the residence that Mark Hopkins was building at 
the corner of California and Mason Streets in San Francisco to 
record the city, its sweep of Bay and surrounding hills in a 360 
degree view, the most complete panorama of San Francisco that 
had ever been made. This was Muybridge's first published work 
after his Panama series. In carrying it out, he again claimed San 
Francisco as his photographic territory. 

Muybridge had been interested in taking panoramic views 
from the beginning of his photographic career. 29 A number of 
his less ambitious San Francisco panoramas from the late 1860s 
and early 1870s are found in the collection of Bancroft 
Library, and a simple north, east, south and west series from 
the roof of a three-story building is in the Collection of the 
Wells Fargo History Room, San Francisco. He even made 
panoramic views during the Modoc War, of the Army camp on 
the shores of Tule Lake, "from the Signal Station." His Panama 


Panels three though six of the thirteen-part panorama of San Francisco 
Rare Books and Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries 

photographs had included an eleven-panel panorama of 
Guatamala, "taken from Carmen Hill." 

The city offered a perfect site for a panoramic view. 
Daguerreotypists had found it so in the days of the Gold Rush; 
there are at least eight daguerreotype panoramas, of from two 
to six panels, dating from 1850 to 1853. 30 The first view from 
Nob Hill, Muybridge's vantage point, was taken in early 1851, 
and the view from that point, as it was settled, soon became 
favored over Rincon Point, which earlier daguerreotypists had 
chosen. The Alta California, attempting to convey the enormity 
of the scope of Muybridge's 1877 panorama used the analogy 
of "a small ant wishing to get a comprehensive view of a 
painted Japanese dinner plate," and climbing on a thimble to 
do so. A sort of census report underscored the Alta's 
appreciation of the Muybridge panorama ". . . it may safely be 
said that the homes of more than quarter of a million people 
within this saucer-like panorama, 50 miles long and 15 wide, 
are distinctly visible from the corner of California and Mason 
Streets, 381 feet above ordinary high tide. 


The thirteen-panel panorama was taken in the spring or early 
summer of the year. Muybridge started at about 11 a.m., and, 
probably with the help of an assistant, made each section in a 
matter of fifteen minutes. The seventh panel from the left was 
taken last; it is a second shot of a section that was not 
successful on the first try. He used a 40-in., or near telephoto, 
lens, which determined the number of 20 in. -wide glass 
negatives needed to make the complete circle. He had chosen 
the day for the execution of the panorama carefully; the 
shadows are sharp, and the atmosphere clear. 

A key, which names buildings worthy of particular note, was 
published by Muybridge for the second eleven-part panorama. 
Muybridge thus provided, by photographic and literal 
documentation, the most comprehensive physical record that 
exists of San Francisco in its "Golden Era," giving us a 
knowledge of it as it would never be again after the earthquake 
and fire of 18 April 1906. 


Copy photographs of paintings by Norton Bush 

albumen prints from wet-plate collodion glass negatives 

Twenty-one prints, 11 1/2 x 19 3/4 in., mounted on boards 
18 x 26 in. 

Published by Morse's Gallery, San Francisco, and exhibited at 
the San Francisco Art Association Galleries, 1877 

Copy Photograph of a painting of Occident by John Koch 

albumen print from wet-plate collodion glass negative 

4 x 8-1/2 in., mounted on a 5-1/4 x 8-1/2 in. card. 

Copyright, 1877, as an "automatic electro-photograph" by 
Muybridge; published by Morse's Gallery, San Francisco 

The example in the exhibition of the series of copy 
photographs of Norton Bush's paintings of Peru, Mount Meiggs, 
Andes of Peru (1876) is from the collection of Robert B. Haas. 
The copy photograph of the Koch painting and the painting 
itself are in the collection of the Stanford University Museum 
of Art. 

A substantial part of Muybridge's professional work was given 
over to photographic copying — of architectural plans, 
documents, drawings and paintings. There are fifteen copy 
photographs in the Brandenburg Album from the years 1867 to 
1873. Muybridge's advertising card for Bradley & Rulofson of 
1873 was a copy of a collage of his own photographs combined 
with studio portraits and type proofs, as was his introductory 
page to the Central America album. (In his advertising card for 
Pacific Rolling Mills, he had created a really photographic 
collage, combining a photograph of the mill workers with an 
arrangement of their product.) 

In 1876 and early 1877 Muybridge put his skill in this line 
at the service of the painter Norton Bush, copying the 
twenty-one paintings Bush had produced from sketches made in 


Peru in 1875. 32 When the paintings were exhibited at the 
galleries of the San Francisco Art Association in February of 
1877, the Muybridge photographic copies were hung with them. 
Bush made presentations of the copies of his paintings; Mount 
Meiggs, in the exhibition, is inscribed by him to "W. C. Bartlett, 
Esq., With compliments of the Artist." 

The photographic copy of the painting of Occident by Morse's 
retoucher John Koch 33 is another sort of work. Muybridge passed 
it off as an "automatic electro-photograph." Upon its 
publication, he announced in a letter to the Alta California that 
it was "slightly retouched, in accordance with the best 
photographic practice." The press received it, with one 
exception (see "Eadweard Muybridge, 1830-1904"), as a 
wonder in photography, and the judges of the Twelfth 
Industrial Exhibition of 1877 awarded it a medal: 

"E. J. Muybridge Instantaneous Photograph of the 

Race-horse "Occident." The negative of this photograph was 
executed for Hon. Leland Stanford, the owner, while the horse 
was trotting at the rate of 2:40 [2:30 on the published card] 
or about thirty-six feet in a second. As an illustration of the 
marvelous resources of photography, this is a wonderful 
production, the duration of the exposure having been less than 
the one- thousandth part of a second [Muybridge claimed the 
two-thousandth part of a second]. This can be determined with 
tolerable accuracy by the fact that the whip in the hand of the 
driver is as sharp as if photographed while motionless." 34 

The Stanford Museum holds the painting from which the 
published photograph was copied. Examination of it by X-ray 
and infra-red photography reveals no underlying photograph. 
Only the face of the driver is a photograph, carefully trimmed 
and affixed to the surface of the painting. 

The copy photograph of the Koch painting, which we 
assume to have been made from a lantern-slide projection of an 
indistinct photograph by Muybridge, tells us several things 
about the state of the Stanford/Muybridge study of animal 
locomotion in 1877. The first, and most important, is that 
Muybridge did not yet have lenses fast enough to take a 
photograph that would satisfactorily record the horse in 
motion. He was able at this time to catch an image that would 
be accurate enough for Stanford to interpret, but would not be 
acceptable to the public. He and Stanford were shortly to order 
the lenses they needed for their work from the famous 

: M-OTI 

Muybridge's published photograph 
The Koch painting of Occident 


lensmaker John Henry Dallmeyer (1830-1883), of London. We 
also know that in publishing this copy print as an original 
photograph for some reason Muybridge at this time abandoned 
his often-stated demands upon himself as a technically superior 
photographer. But most important, I believe, is that in 1877, 
judging from the copyright of an "automatic 
electro-photograph," Muybridge had in mind an electrically 
triggered system for making successive instantaneous 
photographs of Stanford's horses. 

The year 1877 was evidently one in which Muybridge tried to 
sustain himself by offering his skill as a copyist. In November 
he offered to the Board of Supervisors of Santa Clara County, 
in which some of Stanford's Palo Alto Farm was located, his 
plan for copying the county records [See Documents, A]. He 
had a precedent for this, in the copying by Vance's studio of 
the documents in the 1858 land case, U.S. vs. Limantour, but 
his suggestion that photographic duplicates be made in several 
copies of more-or-less routine documents seems, ninety-five 
years later, an advanced notion. 

Muy bridge's copy of Norton Bush's painting 


The Stanford San Francisco Home Album 

albumen prints from wet-plate collodion glass negatives 

Forty-one 5 1/2 x 9 in. views, including a seven-part panorama 
of San Francisco, mounted on boards 7 x 10 1/2 in., bound in 
leather and stamped "Mrs. Leland Stanford" 

Rare Books and Special Collections, Stanford University 
Libraries, holds the bound album of prints. Stanford University 
Archives holds sixty-five 6 x 10 in. negatives from which the 
photographer Leo Holub made the prints selected for the 

The offices of the Central Pacific Railroad had been 
moved from Sacramento to San Francisco in 1873, but the 
Stanfords' Italianate residence on Nob Hill was not completed 
until 1876. Presumably the photographs were taken late in 
that year for Mrs. Stanford's personal use. The house was built 
on a lot shared with Mark Hopkins, on the summit of the 
California Street Hill, 381 feet above the level of the Bay, a 
pinnacle for the wealthy. Leland Stanford, in an interview given 
to the San Francisco Chronicle for 19 May 1875, "pointed in 
the direction of his mansion, now being erected upon the 
heights of California street, and said . . .'I shall hope to live to 
sit upon yonder balcony and look down upon a city embracing 
in itself and its suburbs a million of people ... I shall see cars 
from the city of Mexico, and trains laden with the gold and 
silver bullion and grain that comes from Sonora and Chihuahua 
on the south and from Washington Territory and Oregon on the 
north ... I shall look out through the Golden Gate and I shall 
see fleets of ocean steamers bearing the trade of India, the 
commerce of Asia, the traffic of the islands of the ocean. . .'" 

The architecture and the furnishings of the residence were 
appropriate to such a commanding view. The photographs in 
the Stanford album, like those in the similar album in Rare 
Books and Special Collections of the San Francisco Public 
Library, are titled in Mrs. Stanford's hand, and so we know 
that her sitting room was "furnished in purple and gold satin," 
and that it contained "a Statue of Mercury in bronze." 

Stanford residence in San Francisco, the Painting Gallery 

None of the Stanford family appears in either formal or 
informal groupings, as they did in the earlier Sacramento home 
photographs. Instead, the Stanford's growing collection of 
painting and sculpture is emphasized, and the views are taken 
to record their increasingly realized taste in decorative and fine 
art, a taste that was later to be expressed in the building of 
Stanford University, especially in its Museum and Memorial 
Church. There is the rotunda, with its amber glass skylight, 
from which mosaics of Asia, America, Africa and Europe peer 
down from their semicircles to the second floor hall; the 
Pompeian Room; the large circular mosaic of the signs of the 
zodiac in the entrance hall, with the marble statues of Morning 
and Evening beyond; and particularly, there is the "Picture 
Gallery," with one of the Stanfords' recent purchases, a 
large landscape by William Keith, Upper Kern River (1876), on 
prominent display. (This painting, now in the collection of the 
Stanford University Museum, was removed to the Museum in 
1891, and so was not destroyed in the fire that followed the 
earthquake of 18 April 1906.) 

Muybridge made a seven-part panorama of the city front 
from an upper balcony of the home, which commanded a view 
of the Bay of about 180 degrees. Mrs. Stanford's inscription 
under one of the views taken from her hilltop vantage point 
personalizes the photograph: "Western view, the Pacific Ocean 
beyond the mountains, with Fog coming in." 

Stanford residence, the Pompeian Room 


The Horse in Motion 

albumen prints from wet-plate collodion negatives 

"Automatic Electro-Photograph, copyright 1878, 
by Muybridge" 

"Each series is mounted on a card, 
and illustrates a single stride." 

$2.50 for the series of six cards. 

Each photograph, 4x8 1/4 in. mounted on titled cards, with 

analysis of the stride on the reverse of each 

Published by Morse's Gallery, San Francisco 

The set includes: 

Abe Edgington trotting at 8 minute gait, 11 June 1878 
8 positions. Intervals: 1/25 sec, 21 in. Exposure not known 

Abe Edgington trotting at 2:24 gait, 15 June 1878 

12 positions. Intervals: 1/25 sec, 21 in. Exposure "about 1/2000 

of a second" 

Mahomet cantering at 8 min. gait, 18 June 1878 
6 positions. Intervals: 1/25 sec, 21 in. Exposure 
of a second" 

'about 1/2000 

Sallie Gardner running at 1 :40 gait, 19 June 1878 

11 positions. Intervals 1/25 sec, 27 in. Exposure "minus 1/2000 
of a second." Retouched 

Occident trotting at 2:20 gait, 20 June 1878 

12 positions. Intervals: 1/25 sec, 21 in. Exposure "about 
1/2000 of a second." 

Abe Edgington walking at 15 min. gait, n.d. 
6 positions. Intervals: 1/25 sec, 21 in. 

Four of the cards in the set are in the collection of the 
Stanford University Museum of Art, and are shown in the 
exhibition. The Museum also holds lantern slides made from the 
negatives of these and other motion studies Muybridge made in 
1878 and 1879 


Copyright, 1878, by MUYBRIDGE. 

Th e ff 


Illustrated by 


MORSE'S Gallery, 417 Montgomery St., San Francisco. 


Patent for apparatus applied for. MUYBRIDGE. Automatic ELECTRO-PH01 OGRAPH. 

' ABE EDGINGTON," owned by LELAND STANFORD ; driven by C. MARVIN, trotting at a 2:24 gait over the Palo Alto track, 15th June.1878. 


The negatives of these photographs were made at intervals of about the twenty-fifth part of a second of time and twenty-one inches of disti ; thi exposure oi each was about the two-thousandth 

part of a second, and illustrate one single stride of the horse. '1 he vertical lines were placed twenty-one inches ..part ; the lowest horizontal line represents the level of the track, 

the others ele 

iht and twelve inches respei th ely. The negatii 

itlrely "untouched." 

Stanford University Museum of Art 



E EDGINGTON," owned by DELANO STANFORD; driven by C. MARVIN, trotting at a 2:24 gait over the Palo Alto track, 15th June 1878. 

In any series of photographs from life, illustrating the progressiva action of a horse, 
the first position must necessarily be entirely accidental; the other-, if in regular 
sequence, are contingent thereto. 

Fig. 1.— In the present series " ISE EDGINGTON" happened to be opposite the first 
Camera, as represented in Fig 1, with Ins left foreleg in Space 7, and right hind leg in 
Space i, in nearly vertical positions, both pasterns are much bent, being nearly parallel 
with the ground. This position of the pasterns seems necessary to enable the horse to 
carry his body at an uniform height from the ground, and thus to attain the greatest 
possible speed, without any loss of power or time by upward and downward motions. 
The right fore and left hind legs are well bent, and in the act of being thrust forward 

PlG. 2. —The horse is exerting his greatest propulsive force, by the action of the 
muscles of the right hind leg. and the straightening of the pastern of the left fore 
leg; the right fore arm is horizontal, and the knee well bent, to enable him to reach 
out and strike the ground at the greatest possible distance. 

Fie. 3.— The left fore foot has left the ground, and t-he last impulse is being given 
by the straightening of the pastern of the right hind leg. 

Fir;. 4.— The right fore foot is reaching out. and the left, which had left the ground, 
in Space 7, Fw,. 3, is now well doubled up, in Space 9. The right hind foot, which seems 
to have left the ground, in Space ■">, simultaneously with the exposure of the last 
picture, is now elevated Hi inches, and the horse is literally (lying in mid-air. 

Fi<;. 5.— The serial flight is continued. The pastern of the right hind leg continues 
much Pent, at the same elevation as in Fig. I. The left forefoot nearly strikes the 
bre.t- , while the right leg is perfectly straight, with the foot stretched out to strike the 
groun 1 as far forward as possible. 

Fi<>. ©. — The right fore foot and left hind foot are now upon the ground, and in 
nearly the same position as were the left fore foot and right hind foot in Fig. 1. 'This 
completes about one-half of the stride. The right fore font and left hind foot remain 
on the ground as long as the horse can swing himself forward on their leverage, as 
shown in Figs. 1 and 2, H and 7. 

Fig. '7.— The horse, with a reversal of the position of his legs, repeats the same 
movements, as shown in Fig. 2 : the left fore foot is now raised some 24 inches above 
the ground, and the horse is repeating his motion of the straightening of the pastern 
of the right fore leg, while the left hind pastern is nearly horizontal. 

Fig. 8.— The right fore foot has now left the ground, and the left hind leg is repeat- 
ing the movement of the right, as seen in Fig. 3. 

FlG. 9.— The horse is again in mid-air. and con: nues so in Fig. 10. 

FlG, 11.— The left forefoot, which left the ground in Space 7, at a time interven- 
ing between Figs. 2 and A. has now again struck the ground in Space IN, but the leg 
has scarcely resumed its original vertical position. The right fore foot, which is just 
visible in Space 7, Fig. 1, is shaded by the left fore leg in Space 17. The right hind 
foot, which left the ground, in Space 5, in the interval of Figs. 3 and 4, now touches in 
Space lti, both pasterns, as before, are much bent. 

FlG. 1-S.— The horse has moved slightly beyond the position shown in Fig. 1. The 
right fore leg is thrust more forward, and the left has passed beyond the vertical. The 
dark spot in front of th« left fore foot is the shadow of the right fore leg. It is now 
seen the horse has completed something more than one full stride. 

By an analysis of this stride, it will be seen that the left fore foot which left the ground 
at Space 7, in the interval of Figs. 2 and 3. again strikes in Space 1H. between Figs. 10 and 
11; and the right bind foot almost immediately following, in Space 6, Fig. 3, again 
strikes in Space IH, Fig. 11. As the two feet, which move in unison, seem to strike the 
ground at the same instant, (see Figs, h and 10.) the fore leg being the shorter, must ne- 
cessarily be raised first, and is off the ground for a longer time and distance than the 
hind leg, as shown in Figs. 3 and H, where both for* feet and one hind foot is lifted, 
and the final propulsive force being exercised by the straightening of the pastern of one 
of the hind legs. The left fore foot was therefore entirely clear of the ground for a dis- 
tance of about 8 spaces of 21 inches, or 14 feet, and the right hind foot, nearly as far. 
The right fore foot and left hind foot corresponding in their action, were, of course, 
clear, for a similar distance. The eye of the horse which, in Fig. 1, is intersected by the 
line between Spaces X and 9 is, in Fig. 11, where the stride is nearly completed, inter- 
sected by the line between spaces IK and 19, at a distance of ID spaces, of 21 inches each. 
Allow 12 inches for the horse to attain the same position as when he started, and we 
have IsU feet, the length of the stride, by actual measurement. As each two fore feet 
were in the air while the horse was making a progress of 14 feet, and rested only during 
the remaining 4 1 * feet, completing the stride; and the two hind feet were each, for a 
very brief interval, on the ground alone, it would appear that a horse with this stride, 
moving at this speed, is entirely in the air about one-half of the distance; and for a brief 
interval of the other half, lie has one foot idone upon the ground. The relative time that 
a horse is on and off the ground is probably dependent upon his length of limb and 
stride, and rate of speed. 


<7^^_ C . & - ~F~<*^6u<^^do - MORSE'S GALLERY, 417 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, California. 



OF 1 in- 
Automatic Electro- Photographic Apparatus. 

The following photographs are now published: "Oeei'imt" trotting at a 2:20 gait. 12 positions. " Edgin</ion" trotting at a 2:2) gait, 12 positions. " Edqtngtm " trotting at an 8 
minute gait, 8 positions. *' Edgiagton" walking at a li minute gait, 6 posit! 01s. ■ 1///,,,.,, (•' cantering, ti positions. "Sallk Gardner" running at a 1 :4l> gait. 11 positions. Each series 
is mounted on a card, and illustrates a single stride. Tliey will he sent to any part of the world in registered letter, free of postage, upon receipt of $2.50 for each series. 

Arrangements made for I'liotoyraphimj and Recording t! ■•rtton of Horses in motion, in (Wit/ part of the Worldi 

The reverse of the Edgington card 

In June of 1878, the Stanford/Muybridge photographic study 
of animal locomotion really got off the ground. In 1877 faster 
lenses had been ordered from Dallmeyer of London, and twelve 
Scoville cameras from the manufacturer in New York. 
Muybridge had, he said, achieved faster chemical solutions. His 
earlier attempts to regulate the camera shutter mechanically 
were not successful, and a set-up that used electricity to trip 
the shutters had been devised. The following quotation from an 
article in the San Francisco Morning Call, a piece of writing 
which sounds very much like Muybridge's own [compare the 
style with Documents, E], gives the history: 

"His [Muybridge's] first endeavor was to open the slide of 
the camera by hand as the horse went by, but this was too 
slow to give a clear picture; and then a machine was made 
which would run at a regular rate, and which could be graded 
to the speed of the horse. This was a very ingenious 
contrivance, in appearance between a clock and a music box, 
but the difficulty was to regulate the horse with the machine. . 
.This machine had to be started by hand, so that there were 
two uncertain elements to interfere. Could electricity be used, 
and the current be controlled exactly at the right moment, the 
difficulty would be overcome. When Governor Stanford drove 
the last spike which connected the Union and. Central Pacific 
Railways, and in a figurative sense united the Atlantic and 
Pacific Oceans, though the broadest part of the continent 
intervened, the blow of the hammer was echoed by a salvo of 
artillery from the shores of the bay. The act itself was the 
herald which announced the completion of the great design; 
and, surely, if it could thus be drove across mountains and 
valleys, the same agency would solve this portion of the 
problem. But it required a large outlay to perfect the 
machinery, and involved the sending for a portion of the work 
from England. It also required time; but the idea, once 
entertained, could not be abandoned, and the delay only 
intensined [sic] the purpose to carry it to A Successful 
Termination." 35 

By June, the electrical apparatus was ready. On June 15th, 
representatives of newspapers and journals, of the world of art 
and of sports were invited to Palo Alto Farm to witness 
successive exposures being made of Abe Edginton trotting and 
Sallie Gardner running, and to see the results, developed on the 
spot. The California Rural Press for 22 June described the 

"On one side of the track a large screen is placed, and set at 
an angle of about 20 degrees from the perpendicular, the screen 

being covered with white cloth and having vertical lines formed 
across it 21 inches apart, which show black against the white 
cloth. The spaces between these lines are numbered from one 
to twenty in conspicuous black figures at the top. At the 
bottom is another low white screen with horizontal lines four 
inches apart, to show the height of the horse's feet above the 
ground. Powdered lime was sifted over the track in front of the 
screen so as to make a perfectly smooth white surface, over 
which the horse was driven. On the opposite side of the track 
from the screen a low shed was erected, open in front, and on 
a bench or table were placed 12 cameras, numbered in order, so 
as to take 12 views 21 inches apart. These cameras were ... 
constructed with an improved double slide, so that exposure 
could be cut off instantly, one slide moving each way across the 
lens. The slides were held open by a catch connected with an 
armature in the side of the camera. A battery of eight jars was 
placed in the shed and each camera had an independent set of 
wires. These wires were led across the track under the ground 
until within two feet of the background or screen, where they 
were raised so that one of the sulky wheels would pass over 
and strike them. The wires corresponded with the vertical lines 
on the background, and as the sulky wheel passed over the 
wires the armature holding the catch of each separate 
instrument released the catch and the slides cut off the 
exposure of the camera at the instant, so that the photograph 
was taken without any blur. As the wheel passed over the 
different wires the different pictures were taken, each 21 inches 
apart, illustrating perfectly the stride of the horse. ... In 
photographing a running horse, the wires could not be used in 
the same way for manifest reasons. Fine black threads were 
placed across the track, 21 inches apart, and connected so that 
the armatures would release the slides as before." 36 

As for the success of the photographs, the Press reporter 
added: "They show . . . the gait of the horse exactly, and in a 
manner before impossible. A long description even would be 
unintelligible, while the photographs show the whole stride at a 

The eyewitness accounts were carried in the local press, and on 
27 July 1878, copied in a brief note in Scientific American. By 
October, this journal had received prints of the photographs, 
and reproduced them on the cover of its 19 October issue. The 
spread of their fame can be followed thereafter in "Marey, 
Muybridge and Meissonier," p.85. 


Within two weeks after the initial public demonstration, 
Muybridge applied for his patent on the apparatus, and by July 
was already on the lecture circuit with lantern slides of the 
horse in motion, showing his photographs of the horse with his 
earlier ones of Yosemite and Central America. In Sacramento, 
in September, J.M. Hutchings accompanied him, describing the 
views of Yosemite. At these lectures, in which he projected 
sixty illuminated photographs, life-size, showing the action of 
the horse's various gaits, "Mr. Muybridge showed himself to be 
a clever and lucid lecturer on a very difficult subject. . ." 37 At 
the Mechanics' Fair, in San Francisco, in August, he explained 
"briefly the various pictures as they pass in quick succession 
before the gaze of the observer. . . . Many of the theories 
concerning rapid motion are dispelled into very thin air by 
these photographs. The action of the trotter in motion as 
caught by the camera is very different to what the artist usually 
makes him appear on canvas. Not since the time of the 
Egyptians, as Mr. Muybridge remarks, has the animal been 
delineated as he appeared in these negatives. . ," 38 

In the interval between the high summer experiments of 1878 
and those of 1879, Muybridge and Stanford ordered twelve 
more cameras, and expanded the experimental setup to 
accommodate them. In November of 1878, the Alta California 
had reported that the instantaneous pictures had "called out a 
number of letters from artists, anatomists, horse-fanciers and 

others, all expressing the hope that other pictures of a similar 
character will be taken. A lecturer on anatomy in an art school 
wants a series showing the changes in the position of the 
muscles while running, thus supplying a great want of art 
students. The movements of the muscles while boxing, or in 
any violent exertion, can thus be obtained with precision, and 
in no other method." 39 

The experiments of summer 1879 included animals other 
than the horse, and, in August, man entered Muybridge's 
motion-picture stage. Stanford invited members of the Olympic 
Club of San Francisco to perform before Muybridge's cameras, 
and among the successful results was a series of fourteen 
photographs of Mr. Lawton turning a back somersault. The 
Chronicle for 9 August 1879 also reported the use Stanford 
intended to make of some of the photographs of athletes: 

"After the athletic performances several photographs were 
taken of the athletes in various classic groupings. Governor 
Stanford will have each negative worked up to a cabinet-size 
photograph, and take one of each with him to Europe, where 
he will have two life-size oil paintings made of each. 


By the end of the experimental period of 1879, Muybridge 
had also expanded his method to take synchronized views of 
both men and horses from four and five different camera 
positions, a technique that was basic to his later work at the 
University of Pennsylvania. 

"General View of the Experiment Track" 
Photograph F, Attitudes of Animals in Motion, 
Stanford University Museum of Art 




The Zoopraxiscope 

Muybridge's original machine for projecting in motion his 
instantaneous photographs is in the Central Library, 
Kingston-upon-Thames. A replica of it is in the Science Museum, 
London, and a working zoopraxiscope, in which the mechanics, 
but not the finishing materials, were copied, is in the International 
Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester, 
New York. 

The copy in the exhibition, from the collection of the Stanford 
University Museum of Art, was made by the design engineer 
David Beach from Muybridge's description of his machine, 
quoted below, and from photographs of the original 
zoopraxiscope at Kingston-upon-Thames. 41 

It is probable that Stanford and Muybridge intended to 
synthesize the analytical photographs even before an 
experimental method for taking them had been devised. In 
1877, they ordered twelve cameras for the study; a zoetrope 
with thirteen slots uses twelve images to convey forward 
motion. 42 The use of drawings of the correct successive 
positions of human locomotion for zoetrope bands had been 
suggested by Etienne-Jules Marey in 1873: 

"Every one knows the ingenious optical instrument invented 
by Plateau, and called by him 'Phenakistoscope.' This 
instrument, which is also known by the name of Zootrope, 43 
presents to the eye a series of successive images of persons or 
animals represented in various attitudes. When these attitudes 
are co-ordinated so as to bring before the eye all the phases of 
a movement, the illusion is complete; we seem to see living 
persons moving in different ways. This instrument, usually 
constructed for the amusement of children, generally represents 
grotesque or fantastic figures moving in a ridiculous manner. 
But it has occurred to us that, by depicting on the apparatus 
figures constructed with care, and representing faithfully the 
successive attitudes of the body during walking, running, etc., 
we might reproduce the appearance of the different kinds of 
progression employed by man." 44 

Stanford, according to Muybridge, had read Marey's Animal 
Mechanism closely [see "Marey, Muybridge and Meissonier"] . If 
Stanford could think of making instantaneous photographs of 
the horse in motion, the next step, of making a synthesis of the 

motion for an existing instrument, was certainly a readily 
available idea. As soon as The Horse in Motion series was 
published, the suggestion of using the photographs on bands for 
the zoetrope was advanced on all sides [see "Eadweard 
Muybridge, 1830-1904"]. 

Within a month of his success in taking the series 
photographs of the horse in motion, Muybridge was projecting 
them life-size, "in quick succession" before audiences in 
California. 45 The near-synthetic effect of one slide quickly 
succeeding the other must have made him determine to devise a 
way to project them in quick enough succession to correctly 
reconstitute the motion his instantaneous photographs had 
stopped. The synthesis would be absolute proof of his accurate 
analysis, as well as an instructive entertainment for the public. 

Muybridge's first attempt to devise a machine that would 
accomplish this was based on Wheatstone's reflecting 
stereoscope. This was abandoned, however, and he developed 
the instrument that he finally called the zoopraxiscope. His 
description of the process leading to it appears in his Preface to 
Animals in Motion: 

". . . the author arranged, in . . . consecutive order, on some 
glass discs, a number of equidistant phases of certain 
movements; each series. . . illustrated one or more complete 
and recurring acts of motion, or a combination of them: for 
example, an athlete turning a somersault on horseback, while 
the animal was cantering; a horse making a few strides of the 
gallop, a leap over a hurdle, another few strides, another leap, 
and so on; or a group of galloping horses. 

"Suitable gearing of an apparatus constructed for the 
purpose caused one of these glass discs, when attached to a 
central shaft, to revolve in front of the condensing lens of a 
projecting lantern, parallel with, and close to another disc fixed 
to a tubular shaft which encircled the other, and around which 
it rotated in the contrary direction. The latter disc was of 
sheet-metal, in which, near its periphery, radiating from its 
center, were long narrow perforations, the number of which 
had a definite relation to the number of phases in the one or 
more lines of motion on the glass disc — the same number, one 
or two more, or one or two less — according to the sequence of 
phases, the intended direction of the movement, or the 
variations desired in the apparent rate of speed. 46 

"The discs being of large size, small portions only of their 

surfaces showing one phase of each of the circles of moving 

animals were in front of the condenser at the same instant. 


"For many of the discs it was found advisable to fill up the 
outlines with opaque paint, as a more convenient and 
satisfactory method of obtaining greater brilliancy and stronger 
contrasts on the screen than was possible with chemical 
manipulation only. In the "retouching" great care was 
invariably taken to preserve the photographic outline intact. 

"To this instrument the author gave the name of 
Zoopraxiscope; it is the first apparatus ever used, or 
constructed, for synthetically demonstrating movements 
analytically photographed from life, and in its resulting effects 
is the prototype of all the various instruments which, under a 
variety of names, are used for a similar purpose at the present 
day. . ." 

The first audience for the first motion pictures was Leland 
Stanford and his family, who saw them in their Palo Alto home 
in the autumn of 1879. [See Documents, E.] 

Muybridge's Zoopraxiscope, Kingston-upon-Thames 

"To correct the apparent vertical extension of the animals 
when seen through the narrow openings of the metal disc on its 
revolution in such close proximity to, and in the reverse 
direction of the glass disc, the photographs on the latter, 
after numerous experiments, were ultimately prepared as 

"A flexible positive was conically bent inwards, and inclined 
at the necessary angle from the lens of the copying camera to 
ensure the required horizontal elongation of the animal while 
the straight line of ground corresponded with the curvature of 
the intended ground-line of the glass disc, towards the 
periphery of which the feet of the animals were always pointed. 

"A negative was then made of this phase, and negatives of 
the other phases, in the same manner. All the negatives required 
for that particular subject were then consecutively arranged, 
equidistantly, in a circle, on a large sheet of glass; if the disc 
was to include more than one subject, the phases thereof were 
arranged in the same manner, and a transparent positive made 
of them collectively. The glass support of the resulting positive 
was subsequently cut into the form of a circle, and a hole 
bored through the centre, for the purpose of attaching it to the 
inner shaft of the apparatus. . . .Much time and care were 
required in the preparation of the discs, each figure having to 
be photographed three times, independently, before being 
photographed collectively. 

Several Nineteenth-century "Philosophical Toys," 
Forerunners of the Zoopraxiscope 

The nineteenth-century was avid for the synthesis of motion, 
and a number of so-called "philosophical toys" were created to 
present it. These precursors of Muybridge's zoopraxiscope 
depended upon successive poses that could be observed with 
the eye, or psoed for the camera. They were available, as Marey 
had noted in 1873, for scientific use, and had, in fact, been 
used by M. Mathais Duval, professor of anatomy at the Ecole 
des Beaux-Arts with subjects drawn after graphic notations of 
human locomotion. 

The principle underlying all of these nineteenth-century 
devices, as William I. Homer noted in his discussion of them in 
an address to the College Art Association in 1963, is the 
phenomenon of persistence of vision. When the retina of the 
eye is stimulated by images faster than 1/10 of a second, the 
illusion of continuous motion will result. The following 
illustrations and descriptive captions cite some of these 
nineteenth-century toys. 

Thaumatrope 1826 

Bird in a Cage. A circle of carboard has related images on both 
sides. When it is rapidly twirled, by means of attached strings, 
both images are simultaneously received by the viewer. In this 


Thaumatrope 1826 
Phenakistoscope 1832 

case, the bird appears to be inside the cage. 
Stroboscope or Phenakistoscope 1832 

Simon Ritter von Stampfer, an Austrian, invented the 
Stroboscope, and independently, in the same year, the Belgian 
philospher and scientist Joseph Plateau invented the 
Phenakistoscope. In these two toys, a disk with perforated 
slots, on one side of which are drawings of successive 
movement, is rapidly rotated. To observe motion, the viewer 
looks through the slots toward a mirror which reflects the 
drawings on the other side in simulated motion. The devices 
were improved to eliminate the mirror by placing two 
counter-rotating disks on one shaft. 

Daedelum, or Wheel of Life, later called the Zoetrope 1834 

Although a toy called the Daedelum, or Wheel of Life, was 
invented in 1834 by W.G. Horner of Bristol, it did not gain 
wide popularity until 1867, when the same device was brought 
out in the United States under the name of zoetrope. The 
zoetrope turns the phenakistoscope to the horizontal; it is a 
slotted revolving drum through which the viewer peers to see 
apparent movement 

Praxinoscope 1877 

Emile Reynaud patented this device in Paris in 1877. It was an 
advance over the zoetrope, for Reynaud placed mirrors in the 
center of the drum, which reflected the images from its interior 
rim. Thus, the viewer looked over the outer rim, and saw a 
smoother motion than that interrupted by the slots of the 

The Praxinoscope Theater 1878 

Reynaud improved on his Praxinoscope in this delightful toy. 
Between the viewpoint and the turntable is a place for a scenic 
effect, which remains still, while the figures in the drum appear 
to move. The theater came equipped with a variety of scenic 
effects, from a circus ring for acrobats to a snow scene for 

The Magic Lantern 

Basic to Muybridge's zoopraxiscope, of course, was the 



Phases of the Eclipse of the Sun, 11 January 1880 

albumen print from wet-plate collodion negative 

3 1/4x4 1/4 in., mounted on a printed card 6 1/2x4 1/4 

"Photographed for Hon. Leland Stanford, at Palo Alto, 
California, by Muybridge" 

Published by G.D. Morse, San Francisco 

Fifteen collodion negatives, 2 3/4 x 3 1/2 in., with time 
notations in Muybridge's hand 

The Praxinoscope Theater 1878 

projection, or magic lantern, which had been in use since the 
16th century. Slides for lantern projection also conveyed 

Chromotropes and Comic Slides 

The chromotrope gives a kaleidoscopic effect when two 
counter-rotating circles of glass, with different designs on them, 
are moved by a simple string and tackle mechanism. The comic 
slides operate either by a lever, which moves a partially painted 
slide quickly to block out and then reveal portions of a painted 
image in a frame (a man doffs his hat, the devil pops in and 
out of a bundle of straw), or by a more complicated lever and 
rack-and-pinion method, in which two motions are apparent: a 
man snores as he sleeps (his jaw moved by a lever), while a rat 
circles from under his bed to jump into his mouth (operated by 
the circular motion of the rack and pinion). These slides were 
also used to educate: "The Earth's Rotundity" shows two ships 
circling the globe. 

Collection Stanford University Museum of Art. The exhibition 
prints were made by the photographer Ralph E. Talbert from the 
Muybridge negatives 

By the time Muybridge made his negatives of the total eclipse 
of 11 January 1880, photography had long served astronomy, 
particularly with regard to studies of the sun. Daguerreotypes 
had been made of the sun as early as 1842, under the direction 
of Francois Arago, the French astronomer who had announced 
Daguerre's invention to the Academie des Sciences on 7 
January 1839. Wet-plate collodion, a faster process, was 
introduced in 1851. Photographs taken with wet-plates by the 
German photographer Berkowski during the eclipse of 28 July 
1851 made visible some prominences, as well as the inner 
corona of the sun, and from the accurately timed photographs 
taken in Paris during the eclipse of 15 March 1858, the 
apparent diameter of the sun was established. 48 Muybridge was 
among the last photographers of an eclipse to use the wet-plate 
method, for by 1880 the modern silver-bromide gelatin 
emulsion had appeared. With this faster film, photography 
became an indispensable tool of astronomical discovery. 

The Stanford Museum's set of negatives of the 1880 eclipse 
is not complete; according to Museum records, five are missing. 
This may account for the inequality of the time intervals 
between exposures. The most complete eclipse of the sun 
occurred at 3:50 p.m., as reported in San Francisco. In Palo 


j-'hases of the Eclipse of the ^un, 

January 11th, 1S80, 


Pi IH.ISIIF.I. By G. I). Mossfi 

Houns uf t)nsKKVvin>N : 1 — Sun before eclipse. - i— :j,it.">. :{ ; 42. 4 :>:1'J. 5~-3:51. 

6—4:1)8. 7— 4:3*. 

Alto, Muybridge took three successive photographs around that 
time at intervals of three, three and two minutes: by his own 
notation, at 3:46 p.m., 3:49 p.m. and 3:51 p.m. 

Immediately after 3:50, according to a newspaper account? 9 
"the most singular phenomenon of the eclipse occurred, as 
observed in San Francisco. It consisted of the rapid changes of 
the crescent of light as the moon passed over the sun's disk. 
[In] the first phase. . . the horns of the crescent pointed 
horizontally to the south, but in the course of the half minute 
which this extreme obscuration lasted, the horns of the crescent 
rapidly changed position until they pointed to the zenith. When 
the sun set in the west the left hand side of the upper limb was 
notched. . . by the moon's outline." 

Seven of the twenty-one phases Muybridge recorded are 
represented in the published photograph, which appears to be a 
photograph copy of drawings made after the original 
photographs, and lacks any suggestion of photographic quality. 
It may have been made with scissors and paper. 

The total eclipse of the sun of 11 January 1880 was the last 
one of the nineteenth century. Significantly, his photographs of 
it were the last ones "Helios" was took for Leland Stanford. 50 


The Attitudes of Animals in Motion. A Series of Photographs 
Illustrating the Consecutive Positions Assumed by Animals in 
Performing Various Movements 

"Executed at Palo Alto, California, in 1878 and 1879, 
"Copyright 1881, by Muybridge" 

In Stanford's presentation copy: 

"Hon. Leland Stanford: Sir Herewith please find the 

photographs illustrating The Attitudes of Animals in Motion, 
executed by me according to your instructions, at Palo Alto in 
1878 and 1879. Muybridge, Menlo Park, 15th May, 1881." 

Two-hundred and three albumen prints from wet-plate collodion 
negatives, 6 3/4 x 9 3/4 in. 

Stanford University Museum of Art 

Rare Books and Special Collections, Stanford University 
Libraries, holds a copy of Attitudes in which the photographs 
are mounted. The Stanford University Museum of Art's copy. 


shown in the exhibition, is unmounted; the prints are trial 
proofs on print-out paper 

In this summation of Muybridge's work for Stanford, the 
individual pages are untitled, and bear only his copyright stamp. 
Preceding the "Index to Illustrations" is Muybridge's 

"The accompanying photographs, illustrating the attitudes of 
animals in motion, were executed in 1878 and 1879, at the 
Palo Alto Stock Farm, by instructions of Governor Leland 

"The following is a brief description of the introductory 

"A. General view of the Palo Alto Stock Rancho. 

"B. A photographing Camera and back of Electro-shutter. 
Two light panels of wood, each with an opening in the center 
are adjusted to move up and down, freely in their framework. 
These panels are arranged to exclude light from the lens and are 
held in position by a latch. At the proper time, a current of 
electricity charges a magnet attached to the shutter frame, an 
armature is thereby attracted and caused to strike the latch 
which holds the panels; they, being released, are drawn 
respectively upwards and downwards with great rapidity, by 
rubber springs, and light is admitted to the photographing plate 
while the openings in the panels are passing each other. 

"C. Front of Electro-shutters, with positions of panels 
before, during, and after exposure. 

"D. Front of operating room in which are arranged parallel 
with the track, 24 Cameras, at a distance of 12 inches from the 
center of each Lens, and an Electro-shutter in front of each. 

"E. Operating track, covered with rubber flooring, and 
crossed with lines 12 inches apart, over which the animals are 
caused to move. On one side of the track a white background is 
arranged at a suitable angle. The cross lines on the track are 
distinguished by the upper line of figures. The particular 
Camera in which any negative of a series is made, is designated 
by the parallel direction of the vertical stake, with the 
horizontal line extending to the corresponding number of the 
Camera immediately opposite. The discriminating number of 
each series of exposures is recorded on each negative by the 
large figures [229 for example] which is changed for each 
movement illustrated. 

"F. General view of the experiment track, background and 
Cameras. Threads are being stretched across the track, 12 inches 
apart, and at a suitable height for photographing the action of a 

running horse. One end of each of the threads is secured in 
front of the Cameras, hauled taut, and fastened to a metal 
spring, which is drawn almost to the point of contact with a 
metal plate. In its progress over the track, the animal strikes 
these threads in succession, and as each spring touches its metal 
plate, a current of electricity is sent through a connecting wire 
to the magnet in the shutter opposite, and exposures of the 
plates in the line of Cameras is successively made, each 
exposure recording the position of the animal at the instant of 
his pressing against its corresponding thread; this accomplished, 
the thread immediately breaks. For horses driven in vehicles the 
exposure is made by steering one of the wheels over wires, 
slightly elevated from the ground, the successive depression of 
each one completing an electric circuit, and making its 
corresponding exposure. 

"For recording the movements of animals not under direct 
control, clock-work apparatus is arranged to cause successive 
exposures at regulated intervals of Time instead of at uniform 
distances. The boxes, arranged in a semi-circle contain 
Electro-shutters and Cameras, for obtaining simultaneous 
exposures of the same position of the animal from different 
points of view. Muybridge" 

It is not known how many copies of this book Muybridge 
printed. There must have been at least five: the one that 
appears in the Meissonier painting of Leland Stanford, 1881 
(now in the Stanford Museum), and the four that Muybridge 
sold in London before his return to the United States in 1882 
[see Documents, H]. There is a copy in the Library of the 
Academy of Arts and Sciences, which may be one of the five 
accounted for above. The book was, at any rate, handmade. No 
reproductive process was used for the photographs. There was 
no factory setup at Palo Alto, and there is no publisher named. 
Muybridge printed the five (at least) sets of 203 photographs 
himself. It was a prodigious work. 

The photographs in Attitudes of Animals in Motion have an 
archetypal quality, a tense awkwardness that is apparent in any 
art before the finesse that accompanies foreseeable results sets 
in. Muybridge was experimenting in 1878-79; he was at the 
height of his interest in the doing of the work. 

Running high leap, Photograph 103, 
Attitudes of Animals in Motion 


Opposite : 

Athlete swinging a pick 

Photograph 110, Attitudes of Animals in Motion 

Two cameras have been used; the photographs are not consecutive 

Above : 

Studies of fore shortenings 

Photographs 187-191, Attitudes of Animals in Motion 

1882 The Horse in Motion 

The Horse in Motion, As Shown by Instantaneous Photography, 
With a Study on Animal Mechanics, Founded on Anatomy and 
the Revelations of the Camera, in which is Demonstrated the 
Theory of Quadrupedal Locomotion, by J.D.B. Stillman, A.M., 

"Executed and Published under the Auspices of Leland 

Boston, James R. Osgood and Company, 1882 

Printed by the University Press, Cambridge 

"One Volume, Royal Quarto, Fully Illustrated, $10" 51 

Five heliotype reproductions of Muybridge photographs, nine 
color plates of anatomical drawings, ninety-one 
photo-lithographs of drawings made from Muybridge's 
photographs, 127 pages of text 

Rare Books and Special Collections, Stanford University 

The publication of this book in February 1882 ended the 
Stanford/Muybridge collaboration. It reached England in April, 
1882, when Muybridge was famous for his demonstrations 
before learned societies of the analysis and synthesis of animal 
motion, of which he claimed to be the originator. Because his 
name did not appear on the title page, and because Stanford 
named him only as a "skilled photographer," his word was 
questioned; he started a suit against Stanford and returned to 
America. [See "Eadweard Muybridge, 1830-1904," and 
Documents F and H for a history of the suit.] 

The history of the book has an equally sad conclusion. 
Although long reviews of it were placed by the publisher in the 
leading newspapers throughout the country and abroad, it did 
not sell. Stanford wrote the following note to Dr. Stillman, 
who was to remain his lifelong friend, on July 28, 1882: 

"I have not your last letter before me, but I remember that 
the business portion of it was in regard to the price of the 
book. I think a low price is best for I would like to hear of 
some sales and possibly someone may want it if the price is low 
enough. I have never heard of anybody's buying the book nor 
have I heard of the book's being sold." 53 

Comparison of the lithographic plates in Stillman's volume 
with the Muybridge photographs the drawings were made from 
suggests one reason for the failure of this expensive publication 
[see p. 28]. The Muybridge photographs catch the vivacity of 
motion of the subjects; the lithographs appear posed, lifeless 
renderings of motion extracted from its actual setting. Stillman 
had guided the book through the press, but no doubt it was 
understood by Stanford that drawings after the photographs 
rather than reproductions of them were to be used. In making 
this decision Stillman and Stanford underestimated the 
convincing power of the photographs, underexposed as some of 
them might have been. The decision to use line copies of them 
was consistent with Stanford's customary acceptance of 
photography as a medium that gave information, rather than as 
a visual medium, with an inherent message. 

Stillman's text is heavily written, and according to W.M.R. 
French, who sent Stanford a thirteen-page manuscript of 
corrections, in case there should be a second edition, was full 
of errors, which even included the misspelling of the name of 
Stanford's star horse, Abe Edgington. The thought of a second 
edition was put aside, although Stillman had ordered $2,000 
worth of corrected plates for it in advance, so confident was he 
of its success. 54 As for the first edition, those volumes that were 
not sold are believed to have been burned along with everything 
else in the fire that destroyed the Stanford San Francisco home 
in April, 1906. 

Although Muybridge did not win his suit, he had the last 
word. In his Prospectus and Catalogue for Animal Locomotion, 
1887, he wrote: 55 

"In conclusion, it may not be irrelevant for the author to 
remark that a number of his early experimental photographs of 
animal movements, and his original Title, "The Horse in 
Motion," were copied, and published a few years ago, in a book 
which is referred to in the following paragraph, reprinted from 
Nature (London), June 29, 1882. After the full Title of the 
book is quoted, the reviewer says, 'The above is the somewhat 
long title of a large and important work issuing from the 
well-known Cambridge (U.S.) University Press. 

" 'Long as is the title, the name of the principal contributor 
to the volume is left unrecorded there; though, indeed, even a 
cursory glance over its contents shows how much indebted is 
the whole question of the mode of motion in the horse to the 
elaborate series of investigations of Mr. Muybridge.' " 



1. Catalogue of Photographic Views Illustrating the Yosemite, 
Mammoth Trees, Geyser Springs, and other remarkable and 
Interesting Scenery of the Far West, by Muybridge, Bradley 
& Rulofson, San Francisco, 1873. Original in The Bancroft 
Library, University of California, Berkeley. The catalogue has 
been thoroughly studied by Mary V. Jessup Hood and Robert 
B. Haas. Their article, "Eadweard Muybridge 's Yosemite 
Valley Photographs, 1867-1872," California Historical 
Society Quarterly, Vol. XLII, San Francisco, March 1963, 
pp. 5-26, gives the results of the study. Much of the 
information in the present discussion depends upon it. 

2. Beaumont Newhall provided this article by H.W. Vogel, as 
well as the information about him. 

3. Three other photographers had preceded him. The pre-1872 
history of the graphic representation of the Valley, whose 
existence became generally known in 1851, when the 
Mariposa Battalion chased a group of Indians into it, is, in 
brief, as follows: In the summer of 1855, the young English 
artist Thomas Ayres accompanied a party of tourists led by 
James M. Hutchings, the first "developer" of the Valley. 
There he made wash drawings of views,, two of which were 
published in San Francisco in 1855 (Emil Ernst, "Yosemite's 
First Tourists," Yosemite Nature Notes, Vol. XXIV, No. 6, 
June 1955). In 1859, Charles L. Weed, for whom Hutchings 
also served as guide, took twenty 10 x 14 in. plates and forty 
stereos, which were published in San Francisco by Vance's 
Gallery (Mary V. Hood, "Charles L. Weed, Yosemite's First 
Photographer," Yosemite Nature Notes, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 
6, June 1959). In 1861, Carleton E. Watkins took 
photographs on the Valley floor and the first photographs 
from above the Valley. He made subsequent trips during the 
mid-sixties; his photographs were published in the U.S. 
Government Survey, Geology, Vol. I, 1865, and The 
Yosemite Book, 1868 (Hood and Haas, op. cit., p. 8). In 
1866, W. Harris completed a series of views taken in and 
around Tuolumne Meadows (the high country) for J.D. 
Whitney, director of the Geological Survey, and these were 
published in The Yosemite Book (ibid.). Then Muybridge 
entered the scene. 

4. For his titles in the Hittell volume, Muybridge used the Indian 
names favored by Hutchings, e.g.: "Tissayac, or Half Dome," 
"Piwyac, or Vernal Fall," "Yowiye, or Nevada Fall." He 
continued this practice after others had abandoned it. 

The following passage in HittelPs guidebook describes the 


"The great attraction of Yosemite is the crowding of a 

multitude of romantic, peculiar and grand scenes within a 

very small space. One of these waterfalls, one of these vertical 
cliffs, half a mile high, one of these dome or egg-shaped 
mountains, or the chasm itself, as a geological curiosity, 
would be worthy of world-wide fame; but at Yosemite there 
are eight cataracts, five domes, a dozen cliffs, several lakes 
and caverns, and numberless minor wonders, besides the 
biggest groves near by, and scores of mountains. ..." (Hittell, 
op. cit., p. 9.) 

5. Kingston Scrapbook, p. 8. 

6. I am also grateful to Beaumont Newhall for this quotation. 

7. By 1872, there were other possibilities for easier travel : by rail 
or boat and rail from San Francisco to a stage point; by stage 
to several points from which horses and pack mules then 
descended into the Valley. 

8. Kingston Scrapbook, p. 15. 

9. Artists listed as subscribers include: "A. Bierstadt, Charles C. 
Nahl, Norton Bush, S.M. Brookes." 

10. Kingston Scrapbook, p. 8. 

11. According to Mary and William Hood, who have studied early 
photographs of Yosemite from a geological and botanical 
point of view, the Indians who summered in the Valley 
before the white settlers arrived had periodically burned off 
growth on the floor. The earliest tourists, therefore, had 
much more complete views of the surrounding rock 
formations and the waterfalls than are available today, when 
the growth of trees and shrubs has gone unchecked. 

12. For the history of photographic war reporting, see Helmut 
Gernsheim, The History of Photography from the Camera 
Obscura to the Beginning of the Modern Era, New York, 
1969, pp. 267-74, 453-4. Also, Beaumont Newhall, The 
History of Photography from 1839 to the Present Day, 
second edition, New York, 1964, pp. 67-74. 

13. Some are identical views; a stereo cut to 3V4 in. square and 
separately entered, has been counted as one. 

14. Conversation, January 1972. 

15. R.B. Haas, manuscript of Muybridge, Man in Motion. 

16. This page numbering does not represent the original order of 
the album, which cannot be known, since the pages were 
loose and had been regrouped. The letters signify the position 
of the prints on each page. 

17. The information about the SS Costa Rica and, following, 
about the Vasco da Gama was given by Karl Kortum, 
Director, and the late Albert Harmon, Librarian, of the San 
Francisco Maritime Museum. 

18. The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. 

19. Identified by Mary V. Jessup Hood. 

20. From the subscription offer written in Panama by Muybridge 
on 1 October 1875. The offer is signed "Eduardo Santiago 
Muybridge." Kingston Scrapbook, p. 15, insert. 


21. Kingston Scrapbook, p. 14. 

22. Ibid. 

23. On the flyleaf of one of the Stanford albums, H.C. Peterson 
wrote: ". . .Upon his return he attempted to coerce the 
Pacific Mail SS. Co. to buy the lot from him on the basis of a 
purported contract with him. In the endeavor to realize 

money from the P.M. SS. Co., he threatened suit but the 

proof was too conclusive that there was no contract." 

24. A set of unidentified views will shortly be published in a 
biography of Muybridge by Kevin MacDonnell of England. 
These may be the views that are mentioned in a letter of 
Walter R. Miles, a former professor at Stanford University, to 
Mrs. Helen Cross, Associate Director of the Stanford 
Museum, on 19 December 1955. Miles, writing from Istanbul, 
asks for a microfilm of the two albums with Muybridge's 
handwritten titles in them so that he can identify his set of 
seventy unmounted views given to him by Mr. Timothy 
Hopkins (the son of Stanford's partner, Mark Hopkins), in 
1929, when Miles was "chairman of the committee that 
arranged the Stanford-Muybridge Celebration." He asks that 
the microfilm be sent to Mrs. E.B. Ginsburg of Clinton, 
South Carolina, who "is studying the Muybridge 
photographs, on a project of mutual interest." Letter in the 
files of the Stanford Museum. 

25. Report of the Jurors, Eleventh Industrial Exhibition, San 
Francisco, 1876. Kingston Scrapbook. 

26. Kingston Scrapbook. 

27. From notes made by Kent Seavey, Stanford University, from 
the Norton Bush scrapbooks in the Oakland Museum Library. 

28. Cited in George T. Clark, Leland Stanford, War Governor of 
California, Railroad Builder and Founder of Stanford 
University, Stanford University Press, 1931, p. 310. 

29. For the history of the painted diorama (also called 
panorama), see Helmut and Alison Gernsheim, L.J.M. 
Daguerre, second edition, New York, 1968, and Olive Cook, 
Movement in Two Dimensions, London, 1963, especially 
Chapter 2. For photographic panoramas, see H. Gernsheim, 
The History of Photography, op. cit., pp. 119, 126-7, 142, 
291, 136-7. 

30. For reproductions of panoramic views of San Francisco made 
by daguerreotypists between 1850 and 1853, see Sea Letter, 
San Francisco Maritime Museum, Vol. II, Nos. 2 and 3, 
October 1964. 

31. Alta California, 22 July 1877. Quoted on Muybridge's 
advertisement for the panorama. California Historical 
Society, San Francisco. 

32. From notes made by Kent Seavey, Stanford University, from 
the Norton Bush Scrapbooks in the Oakland Museum 

33. The author of "Bohemian Bubbles" in the San Francisco Post 

thus criticized Koch's work on Occident: 

"It is not an unusual error with artists to paint one limb out 
of proportion with another, and it might be excused in 
photography, only that the apparatus can't lie. I don't know, 
though I could excuse Koch if he had painted those legs in 
Indian ink instead of simply retouching the negative to give a 
better effect. He should know anatomy, but it is strange how 
little artists study nature. One artist receiving a commission 
to paint a picture of a shipwreck painted some red lobsters 
among the rocks on shore, and another, not being able to get 
on without a bit of red somewhere in the foreground of a 
river scene, painted a bunch of carrots floating down the 
stream. Now, lobsters are not red until after they are boiled, 
and as a matter of fact, carrots don't float." Kingston 
Scrapbook, p. 12. 

34. The judges used the same wording Muybridge had used in a 
letter to the editor of the Alta California dated 2 August 

". . .1 herewith enclose you a photograph made from a 
negative, which I believe to have been more rapidly executed 
than any ever made hitherto. 

"The exposure was made while "Occident" was trotting past 
me at the rate of 2:27, accurately timed, or 36 feet in a 
second, about 40 feet distant, the exposure of the negative 
being less than the one-thousandth part of a second. The 
length of exposure can be pretty accurately determined by 
the fact that the whip in the driver's hand did not move the 
distance of its diameter. ..." Kingston Scrapbook, p. 19. 

35. San Francisco Morning Call, 16 June 1878. Kingston 
Scrapbook, p. 21. 

36. Kingston Scrapbook, p. 20. 

37. San Francisco Chronicle, 9 July 1878. Kingston Scrapbook, 
p. 30. 

38. San Francisco Bulletin, 28 August 1878. Kingston 
Scrapbook, p. 30. 

39. Alta California, 20 November 1878. Kingston Scrapbook, p. 

40. Kingston Scrapbook, p. 57. 

41. The differences between the Stanford zoopraxiscope and 
Muybridge's original are optical and mechanical. Muybridge 
used a lens of longer focal length for projection up to 
life-size. The lens had to be mounted on its own pedestal, 
apart from the machine. The Stanford copy has a lens of 
shorter focal length, mounted in front of the gear frame. The 
Stanford copy uses a tungsten filament light instead of 
oxyhydrogen. It does not have the attachments Muybridge 
used to project still slides as well as moving pictures. Like the 
original, the copy is operated by hand. David Beach, who 
designed and built the Stanford zoopraxiscope, believes that 
the modified magic lantern in the Stanford Museum 


Collection is the prototype of the light housing that 
Muybridge used, and has incorporated it into his copy of the 

42. For a history of the zoetrope and other nineteenth-century 
"philosophical toys," see Gaston Tissandier, Popular 
Scientific Recreations, New York, c. 1879; 0. Cook, 
Movement in Two Dimensions, London, 1963; and D.B. 
Thomas, The Origins of the Motion Picture, London, Science 
Museum, 1964. 

43. The phenakistoscope was also called "zootrope" at this time; 
after 1867, when the Daedelum was introduced to the United 
States under the name zoetrope, the name was usually 
reserved for this slotted revolving-drum device. See the 
descriptions and illustrations below for some of the many 
nineteenth-century scopes and tropes. 

44. Etienne-Jules Marey, Animal Mechanism, New York, 1874, p. 

45. The "quick succession" of one image after another was noted 
in reports on the lectures by several San Francisco and 
Sacramento newspapers. Kingston Scrapbook, p. 30. 

46. Compare the counter-rotation of the disks with the improved 
phenakistoscope, below. 

47. Marey, Ibid. 

48. The full history is given in Gerard de Vaucoulerurs, 
Astronomical Photography, from the Daguerreotype to the 
Electron Camera, translated by R. Wright, New York, 

49. San Francisco Evening Bulletin, 12 January 1880. 

50. In his Preface to Animals in Motion, 1899, Muybridge 
remarks: "With the exception of a series of phases of a solar 
eclipse, made in January, 1880, the Palo Alto researches were 
concluded in 1879." 

From the advertisement for the book published by H.H. 
Bancroft, San Francisco, 1882. The Bancroft Library. 

Dr. Stillman was a Gold Rush pioneer. He had earlier 
published his account of the voyage from New York in 1849 
and of life in California: Seeking the Golden Fleece, San 
Francisco and New York, 1877. 
Stanford University Archives 

Letter, Osgood to Stillman, 30 December 1881. Stanford 
University Archives. 
55. Muybridge, Animal Locomotion, Prospectus and Catalogue, 
University of Pennsylvania, 1887, pp. 17-18. 





Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier 

Self-Portrait in the Studio 

from Gustave Larroumet, Meissonier, n.d., p. 

131, ^Boulevard CMaleiljcrbcs 

&/l+f*~ />C4*_ /ocru ~Sr /0C+S& 

<t//t<jL— <&>1 *C~- /c^tK &**• 

\7£CC<s%/. I ^(' 

J*< i-t~ Out t**n n* t -i_ &■ St 




Muybridge's copy of Meissonier's invitation for 

the demonstration of 26 November 1881 

Kingston Scrapbook, p. 72, insert 

Muybridge Collection, Central Library, Kingston-upon-Thames 

Marey, Muybridge and Meissonier 
The Study of Movement in Science and Art 

Frangoise Forster-Hahn 

Ever since Leonardo's efforts to analyze "phenomena of short 
duration," such as the flight of birds or the waves of water, 
artists and scientists have attempted to visualize and make 
visible what lies beyond the limits of human perception. But 
only with the help of modern technology and through the 
conjunction of science and art did the century-long searches 
come to a successful conclusion in the latter part of the 
nineteenth century. One of the central issues in the nineteenth 
century was the analysis of the horse's movements during its 
various gaits. The history, the results and the impact of these 
crucial experiments will be investigated in the following essay. 

I. Crystallation of Scientific, Photographic and 
Artistic Investigations, 1870-1881 

Paris 1881 

On 26 November 1881 the French painter Jean-Louis-Ernest 
Meissonier (1815-1891) gave Eadweard Muybridge a spectacular 
reception in his elegant Paris residence, which was not only 
chronicled in many newspapers of the day, but became a 
much-discussed topic in artistic and scientific circles interested 
in the analysis and representation of movement. An article in 
the American Register of 3 December 1881, under the title 
"Mr. Muybridge's Photographs of Animals in Motion," 
described Muybridge's demonstration in enthusiastic terms and 
named the many illustrious guests gathered by Meissonier for 
this extraordinary occasion: 

"One of the latest topics of Parisian conversation has been 
the magnificent entertainment at the residence of M. 
Meissonier, where we had the pleasure of meeting a large 
number of the most eminent artists, scientists and literati of 
Paris. The object of the renowned artist was to introduce to his 
friends Mr. Muybridge, of California, and afford them an 
opportunity of witnessing a very remarkable exhibition. ... At 
last the Gordian knot is solved, and from the far-off land of 

California comes a man who is welcomed by the most eminent 
of living painters, accorded his friendship, and introduced by 
him, with a generosity equaled only by the greatness of his 
renown, to an assemblage of eminent men, such as is seldom 
found within the walls of one room .... The pictures 
consisted of a large number of photographs projected with the 
aid of the oxyhydrogen light, the size of life, upon a screen, 
illustrating the attitudes assumed by a horse during each twelve 
inches of progress, while performing the various movements of 
hauling, walking, ambling, cantering, galloping, trotting, leaping 
. . . Other pictures illustrated the actions of the dog, the ox, 
the deer, etc., and the attitudes of men in the act of wrestling, 
running, jumping, and other athletic exercises. . . . With the aid 
of an instrument called the zoopraxiscope many of the subjects 
were exhibited in actual motion, and the shadows traversed the 
screen, apparently to the eye as if the living animal itself were 
moving, and the various positions of the horse and the dog, 
many of which, when viewed singly, are singular in the 
extreme, were at once resolved into the graceful, undulating 
movements we are accustomed to associate with the action of 
those animals. The most remarkable and beautiful pictures were 
probably those of birds on the wing. . ." 

Among the guests were the artists Eugene Guillaume, then 
director of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Jean Le'bn Gerome, 
Alexandre Cabanel, Leon Bonnat, Jean-Baptiste Edouard 
Detaille, the critics Jules Claretie and Albert Wolff and the 
poet Alexandre Dumas fils. Meissonier had assembled some of 
the most famous and influential painters and critics of the 
official art establishment of the day. They all witnessed the 
photographic proof that the horse had, indeed, all four legs off 
the ground during one phase of the gallop; not in the 
traditional "hobby-horse" position, however, but in a rather 
odd way, with all four legs bunched together under its body. 
The author of the article in the American Register singled out 
three aspects of Muybridge's demonstration that had been 
noted earlier in the American press. These aspects were to 
become the main issues in all future discussions: the extreme 
oddity of the individual attitudes as they were caught in single 


photographs; their synthesis by the zoopraxiscope into 
"graceful undulating movements"; and, thus, the reconciliation 
of the odd and unexpected stills with the accustomed 
perception of the human eye. 

Two months before this reception, Muybridge had given an 
"exhibition" at the home of the physiologist Etienne-Jules 
Marey (1830-1904) "in the presence of a large number of 
scientists from various parts of the world, then attending the 
Electrical Congress at Paris." 2 The first public record of 
Muybridge 's appearance in Paris is an article in Le Globe of 27 
September 1881. 3 Both demonstrations, the first one given 
before an audience of internationally renowned scientists, and 
the second before artists, literati and critics, had far-reaching 
consequences, particularly for the two men who had been 
Muybridge 's hosts. 

The demonstration in Meissonier's residence represented for 
his guests the culmination of a long and arduous search by 
artists to establish the phases of the horse's gaits, for it 
presented to them the conclusion of photographic experiments 
in "synthetically demonstrating movements analytically 
photographed from life." 4 For Muybridge, the reception at 
Meissonier's and its publicity was the stepping stone for his 
triumphant European lecture tour and his future career. In two 
letters that he wrote immediately after these events, he clearly 
realized the impetus they would give to his professional life: 

"I have happily obtained a recognition among the artists and 
scientists of Paris which is extremely gratifying, and were honor 
all that I am seeking, I need have no apprehension." 

"M. Meissonier exhibits the greatest interest in my work, 
and through his commanding influence I have obtained a 
recognition here which is extremely gratifying and 
advantageous." 5 

Muybridge continued his work in the "Electro-Photo studio 
in the Bois de Boulogne" and his ambitious plans included a 
joint publication with Meissonier and Marey. 6 

Marey's Research and Duhoussets's Investigations 

The first news of Muybridge's successful experiments at Leland 
Stanford's Palo Alto Farm had reached Europe three years 
earlier, when Gaston Tissandier (1843-1899) had published 
copies of some of his instantaneous photographs in the journal 



I.m.r jii in. I avcc une vitesse de 7'J7 metres i In galop dc course, fcndant I'espaee avec une vilesse de 

minute. La fig 5 enfin est un veritable I ■ de 1 1 tS metres '■> la minute. 

force pliotagraphique ; elle reproduil la succession Sous rccommandons ■* nos lectenrs dc bien ciu- 

des temps de failure dc S il it Gardner, an .1 ind dier chacune des positions du cheval dans ce mou- 

rem< nl rerl igh llans li i>. I (fig. 5} an 

ml* 1 II- de devant droite to I m 
tandis qui 
eni 1 . |ui conti i< li m des musi I ■■ I 1 

(fig, 5] on voil Ic chi ral cntidrement isold, aucuae de 
ses jambes m touclu l> sol, elles s.-n; ram 
Bouste ventre, an mom it ctrc lancces, 

1 sous I'action d'un rcssort qui so delend 

1 marquera dans les 11" 8 el '' 

des jambes de ilcvanl est singuliercment tendue, 

d.ui> une |ro.iti,,n qui n'aurail jamais &i soupcon- 

la pholograpbie instanlanee. 

Nous devons ajoulei que I'ecarleincnt des lignes 

vcrlii ides sur les phot .gi ipbi di II Hujbriil e 

cstdcSI pouces anglais, soil de 0",582 millime- 
tres el cclui des lignes horizontales •!(.■ 11 ■», 1 11 J mil- 
limetres. — Les numcros indiques au-dessus tie 

<li>"!"'' I'-' 1 Hi ajoutes aprts coup ^111 le cli- 

M, el scrvenl it lelude de chacune ilcs images, 
ij'- .li! crentes gravures he'tiograpbiques Torment 

La Nature, 14 December 1878 

The first European publication of the Stanford-Muybridge experiments 


La Nature of 14 December 1878. Tissandier, a chemist and 
aeronaut, had founded La Nature in 1873 and acted as its 
versatile and inspiring editor. It was from this publication that 
Marey first learned about Muybridge's and Stanford's 
investigations into animal locomotion. Tissandier had 
immediately sensed the value of Muybridge's photographs for 
both physiologists and artists and publicly recognized 
Muybridge's results as an important complement to Marey's 
studies, 7 which he had published in La Nature for 28 
September and 5 October 1878. Marey, who had been professor 
of natural history at the College de France since 1869, devoted 
his entire scholarly work to the study of movement. Since the 
early 1860s he had recorded his analytical experiments with 
graphic notations and had published his researches in a number 
of books and articles. Marey later acknowledged that the 
possibility of applying photography to the study of animal and 
human locomotion marked a decisive turning point in his 
work. 8 Thus he grasped immediately the potential of 
Muybridge's photographic investigations, which to some extent 
paralleled his own researches at the time. In a letter printed in 
La Nature of 28 December 1878, the issue immediately 
following the first European publication of Muybridge's 
photographs, Marey welcomed them as both *a superior means 
of physiological studies and a "revolution" for artists because 
they furnished "the true attitudes of movement," and 
"positions of the body in instable balance in which a model 
would find it impossible to pose." 9 

"There is scarcely any branch of animal mechanics which 
has given rise to more labor and greater controversy than the 
question of the paces of the horse," Marey had written in 
Animal Mechanism, first published in 1873. He himself had 
tried to analyze the movements of the horse, and had described 
his experiments in great detail in Animal Mechanism: 

"For the experimental shoe employed in the experiments 
made on man has been substituted, on the horse, a ball of 
India-rubber filled with horsehair, and attached to the horse's 
hoof by a contrivance which adapts it to the shoe. . . . When 
the foot strikes the ground, the India-rubber ball is compressed, 
and drives a part of the confined air into the registering 

By measuring the distance between the traces of the hoofs 
and recording the interval, Marey derived his "synoptical 
notations." Some of these were transcribed by Emile Duhousset 
into drawings showing the horse's attitudes in various gaits. 

Duhousset was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the French Army 
and an experienced horseman. A year after Marey's publication, 
he published his own investigations, which he had begun as a 
prisoner of war in Germany, in Le Cheval, a book he dedicated 
to artists, and one in which he discussed erroneous 
representations of the horse in art. 11 Prior to the publication of 
his investigations, he had been in close contact with Gerome, 
Meissonier, and Eugene Guillaume, among others, and all had 
urged him to publish his results, which they believed would be 
of great value to artists. Duhousset based his analytical drawings 
on Marey's chronographic notations and his own experience, 
and thus was able to discover very nearly the correct attitudes 
of the horse during its various gaits. In fact, his drawings nearly 
correspond to Muybridge's photographs, an achievement made 
possible through the close collaboration between Marey and 

In Le Cheval, Duhousset contrasted his drawings with 
examples of erroneous representations in art, which he treated 
in an abbreviated historical survey. Using examples by Vernet, 
Gericault, Rosa Bonheur, Meissonier and others, and specifically 
pointing to Meissonier's most truthful representations, 
Duhousset confronted his nearly correct drawings with the 
traditional poses of galloping horses in art. Muybridge was later 
to adopt this method with extraordinary success. 

Marey's Physiological Station 


E.-J. Marey, La Machine animale, 1873: 

"Graphic curves and notations of the 
horse's trot. RA, reactions of the fore- 
limbs. RP, reactions of the hind limbs. 
AG and AD [anterior left and right] , curves 
and notations of fore-limbs. PD and PG [posterior 
right and left], curves and notations of hind-limbs" 

"Synoptical notations of the paces of the horse, 
according to various writers" 

1. Amble, according to all writers. 

2. Broken amble, according to Merche. 
High step, according to Bouley. 

3. Ordinary step of a pacing horse, according to Mazure. 
Broken amble, according to Bouley. 
Traquenade, according to Lecoq. 

4. Normal walking pace, according to Lecoq. 

5. Normal walking pace (Bouley, Vincent and Goiffon, 
Solleysel, Colin). 

6. Normal walking pace, according to Raabe. 

7. Irregular trot. 

8. Ordinary trot (In the figure, it is supposed that the 
animal trots without leaving the ground, which occurs 
but rarely. The notation only takes into account the 
rhythm of the impacts of the feet. 

9. Normal pace, from Lecoq. 

10. Traquenade, from Merche. 


"£ ®^ 



\m i 



W 'J 


, n 



Emile Duhousset, drawing from Marey's notations for 

"Horse at full trot. The dot placed in the 

notation correspondends with the attitude represented. 

The horse is shown in the point of its stride when 

it is entirely free of the ground. (Duhousset has 

also indicated this in drawing the shadow.) 

E.-J. Marey, Animal Mechanism, 1874, p. 158 

"Experimental apparatus to show the pressure 

of the horse's hoof on the ground." 

E.-J. Marey, Animal Mechanism, 1874, p. 148 

"Apparatus to give the signals of the 

pressure and rise of the horse's hoof." 

E.-J. Marey, Animal Mechanism, 1874, p. 194 


Muybridge, Frankie leaping (12 of 24 exposures) 1879 
Photograph 53, Attitudes of Animals in Motion, 1881 

Muybridge, Deer running 1879 

Photograph 86, Attitudes of Animals in Motion 

Muybridge, Greyhound running 1879 
Photograph 76, Attitudes of Animals in Motion 

Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier 

Meissonier familiar with these researches, had not only ventured 
into lengthy experiments to analyze the horse's gaits, but had 
also been interested in photography and its practical application 
for some time. As early as the 1860s he used photographs to 
record his work. Not a single painting left his studio without 
having been photographed for the purpose of establishing a 
modern liber veritatis. 13 An experienced horseman, Meissonier 
spent a great deal of time watching and sketching horses at the 
parade grounds of Saint-Germain. 14 He also made wax models of 
horses, which he placed in his studio, and according to one of 
his later remarks, he seems to have used photographs as well. 15 

When the German painter Adolf von Menzel (1815-1905) 
came to Paris for the world exhibition of 1867, he and his 
friend Paul Meyerheim visited several French artists, Meissonier 
among them. Meyerheim later gave a lively account of their 
visit: when they arrived at Meissonier's residence, they found 
the artist in his park, sketching one of his horses. Meissonier 
first showed his German guests around his stable of eight 
horses, then took them to the harness room, which was stuffed 
with historical equipment, and then to the. colorful costume 
room, in which there was an equally varied collection of 
uniforms and costumes. Only thereafter were the guests led to 
his studio, a long, narrow garden building, lit its full length by 
a skylight, with red and white striped wallpaper all around. It 
was here that Meissonier showed them numerous small sketches 
of horses, all done on tiny unprepared wooden boards, which 
he would fix to the right bottom corner of his palette, 
sketching the horses, as he explained, while walking along with 
them in order to catch their positions through all phases of 
movement. 16 The sketches being inconclusive, Meissonier went 
to greater lengths: 

". . .he had a miniature railway made in his park at Poissy, 
running parallel with a track; and seated on a trolly, the speed 
of which he was able to control or accelerate at will, he 
watched the movements of a horse ridden by a servant. By 
these means he had succeeded in decomposing and noting 'in a 
flash' the most rapid and complex actions. Reflection 
completed what observation had begun." 17 

But despite these efforts, Meissonier's results were not 
completely satisfactory to him: 

"I managed at last, by dint of sheer hard work, to 
thoroughly understand a horse's walk (which is a very difficult 

matter), and its trot, which is easier. But my studies of the 
gallop, though I watched it with all the attention I could 
bestow, never satisfied me. I had even broken down one horse, 
all to no purpose.' 


It was at this deadlock in his investigations that Meissonier 
became acquainted with Muybridge's instantaneous 
photographs, which he first saw in Marey's laboratory. Some 
time after their first publication in La Nature, Demeny, one of 
Marey's assistants, described the painter's shocked reaction to 
those photographs that contradicted all traditional 
representations in art: 

"The great painter Meissonier . . . used to visit our 
laboratory. He was interested in the gaits of the horse, which 
he sought to represent exactly. When he saw the first 
photographic analyses ... he was utterly astounded and 
accused our apparatus of seeing wrongly. 'If you give me a 

horse galloping like this one' and he showed us one of his 

sketches 'then I will be satisfied with your invention.' ' 


Very soon thereafter, however, Meissonier became the first 
European artist to be completely convinced by photographic 
evidence, and a great advocate of Muy bridge. 

Leland Stanford at Meissonier's 

When Leland Stanford first visited Meissonier in 1879, 20 he 
brought with him prints that Muybridge had made of his 
experiments at the Palo Alto Farm. Stanford, whose own 
attempts to analyze the motion of the horse went back to 
1870, hoped to persuade the artist to paint his portrait. 
Meissonier himself gave an account of Stanford's visit: 

"Meanwhile, towards the autumn, some American dealer, I 
have forgotten which, brought a certain Mr. Leland Stanford, a 
former governor of California, and his wife to my studio. He 
asked me to paint his portrait. 21 My first impulse, of course, 
was to refuse, but he began to talk about the photographs of 
horses in motion, and said they were his. He had even spent 
$100,000 on the work, 22 so a friend who was with him said, 
and the proofs which had reached Europe were a mere nothing. 
He had hundreds of others, far more interesting, not merely of 
horses in motion, but of oxen, stags, dogs and men. He had 
proofs of these last fighting, wrestling, jumping from the 
trapeze, etc." 23 


According to the author of an article in the Sacramento 
Daily Record-Union for 26 June 1881, Stanford visited the 
painter again in June 1881. The somewhat exaggerated and 
dramatic account of this eye-witness emphasized again the great 
astonishment of the artist. Meissonier reacted to the 
photographs with utter disbelief, which the California 
businessman brushed aside with the simple statement: "The 
machine cannot lie." When Meissonier brought out various wax 
models of horses, Stanford produced the instantaneous 
photographs of the bound volume, The Attitudes of Animals in 
Motion: 24 

". . .the Governor succeeded in convincing him of his error. 
It was almost pitiful to see the old man sorrowfully relinquish 
his convictions of so many years, and the tears filled his eyes as 
he exclaimed that he was too old to unlearn and begin anew." 25 

When Meissonier portrayed the California businessman and 
politician in the late summer or autumn of 1881, he was no 
doubt asked to represent him with two characteristic attributes: 
the cane with the little gold nugget, as a tribute to the venture 
that had laid the foundations for his later fortune, and the 
bound volume of the Muybridge photographs, "executed 
according to [his] instructions at Palo Alto," 2 a testimony to 
the greatest preoccupation of Stanford's private life, the 
scientific training and breeding of his beloved horses. 27 

The Photographic Experiments 
of Muybridge and Stanford 

The sensational result of the photographic experiments in 
California had been obtained through the combined efforts and 
the collaboration of an accomplished photographer, a wealthy 
horseman who was also knowledgeable and curious, and 
experienced engineers and electricians. Stanford himself had 
first conducted experiments on the sandy race track at 
Sacramento in the summer of 1870, when he and a friend tried 
to measure the depth of the impressions left by the horse's 
hoofs on the soft ground of the track 28 These first experiments 
were, however, not initiated to satisfy scientific or artistic 
curiosity, but for very practical reasons, namely, to gain 
accurate knowledge of the horse's locomotion for purposes of 
training. Two years later Stanford — believing as he did in 
technical progress and the practical application of technology 
decided to try photography in order to determine whether 

a trotting horse had all four feet off the ground at some point 
in its stride. In May of 1872 he engaged Muybridge to take 
photographs of his horse Occident at the Sacramento race 
track. After the interruption of these first attempts Muybridge 
returned to new experiments in July 1877. His letter of 17 
February 1879 to the editor of La Nature, in answer to Marey's 
earlier letter of December 1878, leaves no doubt about Marey's 
responsibility for Stanford's continuing experiments: 

"Would you kindly tell Professor Marey," he wrote to 
Tissandier, "that the study of his famous work on animal 
mechanism inspired Governor Stanford with the first idea of 
the possibility of solving the problem of locomotion with the 
help of photography." [See Documents, C] 

As an expert on horses, Stanford certainly knew not only 
Marey's scientific publication that appeared in an English 
edition in 1874, but also Duhousset's book, Le Cheval, 
published that same year. 29 This time Muybridge had achieved 
the controversial result, "Occident trotting at a 2:27 gait." The 
first reports of this were published on 3 August 1877 in the 
Alta California and the San Francisco Bulletin. In 1878 
Muybridge expanded the investigations, at Stanford's request, at 
Palo Alto Farm, to which Stanford's horses had by then been 
moved. He published six serial photographs and copyrighted the 
set under the title The Horse in Motion. In the autumn of that 
same year the news of his successful experiments reached a 
national paper and thus a much wider public. The Scientific 
American on 19 October 1878 printed a report under the title 
"The Science of the Horse's Motion," which was illustrated 
with 18 line drawings after Muybridge's photographs, thus 
focusing international attention on the experiments in the Far 
West. Meanwhile, Muybridge kept improving his experiments 
and systematically developed the apparatus which he later 
refined in his work at the University of Pennsylvania. During 
these years he also developed the zoopraxiscope. He 
demonstrated it in the Stanford home during an autumn 
evening in 1879, again at the Stanford San Francisco home in 
January 1880 and gave a first public showing of the "Magic 
Lantern Zoetrope" in San Francisco to a small circle of artists 
and critics in May 1880. At the same time he completed the 
printing of his negatives and arranged them in elegantly bound 
albums for presentation to Stanford in May 1881. The album 
shown in Meissonier's portrait testifies to Stanford's pride in 
having actively initiated, participated in and supported these 
photographic experiments which led to the first instantaneous 
pictures of the running horse. 


The overwhelming response Muybridge received in Paris, 
however, was perhaps less due to the photographs themselves 
than to their demonstration with the zoopraxiscope. While the 
individual stills tended to "freeze" single attitudes in isolation, 
the zoetrope offered the possibility of creating an illusion of 
coherent motion based on the persistance of vision. It is not 
quite clear who first suggested to Muybridge the use of the 
zoetrope in order to simulate the synthesis of movements which 
he had been able to analyze in successive phases. The Scientific 
American of 19 October 1878 had actually proposed this step, 
and similar references were made in the San Francisco papers of 
May 1880. 30 Emile Duhousset in Paris and W. B. Tegetmeier in 
London were the first to use Muybridge 's photographs in a 
phenakostiscope and in Reynaud's praxiniscope. But Marey may 
have given the decisive incentive, since the French scientist 
could point to his own expertise and previous experiments. In 
Animal Mechanism, the book Muybridge specifically mentioned 
as the force inspiring and encouraging Stanford, Marey had 

"But it has occurred to us that, by depicting on the 
apparatus figures constructed with care, and representing 
faithfully the successive attitudes of the body ... we might 
reproduce the appearance of the different kinds of progression 
employed by man." 31 

Later, in Le Mouvement, Marey described his own 
experiments, which he had made as early as 1867. In order to 
demonstrate the horse's movements the physiologist still had to 
use analytical drawings as a means of achieving the synthesis of 
individual successive attitudes. Twelve images were drawn on a 
long strip of paper which, when placed in the zoetrope and 
rotated, afforded a "concrete demonstration of the relations as 
expressed in the chronographic notations." 32 Thus, the French 
scientist immediately visualized the use of instantaneous 
photographs in a zoetrope and expressed his idea of an 
"animated zoology" in his letter to La Nature. Speaking of 
Muybridge's instantaneous photographs he wrote: 

"And then what beautiful zoetropes he will be able to give 
us; one will see all imaginable animals in their true gaits; this 
will be animated zoology." [See Documents, C] 

Instead of drawings which were merely transcriptions of 
chronographic notations, Muybridge was now able to go a step 
farther and substitute for these inconclusive images painted 
copies of his correct analytical photographs. With his 
complicated zoopraxiscope and instantaneous photographs 

Muybridge was capable of achieving a far more convincing 
illusion of coherent "moving pictures" projected in life-size 
than anyone before him had been able to devise. 

"Mr. Muybridge Showing His Instantaneous Photographs 

of Animal Motion at The Royal Society" 

The Illustrated London News, 25 May 1889, cover 


Pig. 15 — Boa-relief Assyrien (British Museum). 
ft I'amble. 

fi-i. 14. — Bas-relief iSgyptien (Medynel-Abou). Deux ctieTsui 
alleles marctunt I 'amble. 

I,. is — Uas-reliel en lonv cniU' ile I'i-|hmiii«- VoImjuc (VrtMrij 
Trois clieva rcliaul au pa*. 

I I ,. - I e i nvnlii r <-l In Mm i par Vllieil IKirer. 
r.hcval an U'ol I I'm ill -miii. 

niustrations of the representation of the horse in art that accompanied Marey's article 
La Nature, 5 October 1878 


Muybridge's Lecture Demonstrations and Publications 

Stanford's and Muybridge's experiments in California were not 
carried out in isolation, but in close reciprocity with Marey's 
and Duhousset's work in Paris. During the decade of 1870-1880 
both the Americans and the French had been intensely involved 
in the study of animal locomotion. Before Marey contacted 
Muybridge through La Nature in December 1878, their 
individual efforts exactly paralleled each other in time as well 
as in their objective. While the first national publication of 
Muybridge's instantaneous photographs appeared in The 
Scientific American of 19 October 1878, Tissandier published 
almost simultaneously Marey's latest experiments and attempts 
to represent animal locomotion, richly illustrated with 
Duhousset's drawings in the 28 September and 5 October issues 
of La Nature. Just as Marey's work influenced Stanford's and 
Muybridge's photographic investigations, so did Duhousset 
inspire the idea and design of Muybridge's lecture 
demonstrations. Muybridge must have known not only 
Duhousset's book Le Cheval, but also Marey's article in La 
Nature with Duhousset's illustrations. In the second installment 
Marey referred to precisely this book which had so evidently 
shown the mistaken representations of the horse's gaits, and he 
emphasized this point with Duhousset's illustrations, 
confronting the correct drawings with erroneous examples, 
which ranged from Assyrian reliefs to modern art. In 
January of the following year Duhousset wrote about 
Muybridge's achievements in L'lllustration, where he pointed 
out again the possibility of applying the results of instantaneous 
photography to the field of art. 33 

i ■ 



1 X 

Muybridge's "exhibitions" also reflect plans that he, Marey 
and Meissonier had pursued in November and December of 
1881 in Paris, to prepare "a work upon the Attitudes of 
Animals in Motion as illustrated by the Assyrians, Egyptians, 
Romans, Greeks, and the great masters of modern times." [See 
Documents, F.] 

It had been Stanford's pioneering mind and insistence on 
using the camera to analyze the horse's movements that had 
given new direction to Muybridge's work. Once confirmed in 
his own success by the acclaim of their synthesis in the 
zoopraxiscope, Muybridge sensed the relevance of his work for 
art and began to build lectures around this aspect. Following 
Marey, Duhousset and Meissonier, he developed his concept in 
greater depth, and presented the subject of animal locomotion 

Klii. 10. — Chev 

An excerpt from Duhousset's article, 
L'lllustration, 25 January 1879 


in historical perspective and with regard to art. Contrasting 
earlier error and "evidences of its absurdity" with the correct 
analysis, he became convinced of the "acknowledgment by the 
Artist of the necessity of reformation." The syllabus that he 
printed later in Zoopraxography, 34 complemented by his slides 
and disks, allows a fairly coherent reconstruction of the 
demonstrations on "Zoopraxography or the Science of Animal 
Locomotion in its Relation to Design in Art." After a 
description of the camera equipment and his experiments, he 
presented slides of sculptures, paintings and prints, all showing 
the horse in each of its gaits, from "pre-historic, ancient, 
medieval and modern times." He surveyed Assyrian reliefs, 
examples of the Parthenon frieze, the Bayeux tapestry, 
medieval manuscripts, monuments of rulers on horseback, 
followed by paintings and prints by Vemet, Ge"ricault, 
Delacroix, Meissonier and other contemporaries, and he 
contrasted these traditional and erroneous representations with 
his own "moving pictures" of animals in motion. 

He had built the zoopraxiscope so that he could both show 
slides and insert the disks to which painted copies of his 
photographs had been transferred. The subjects he selected for 

ft fe£> 

One of Muybridge's illustrations of an "absurd" representation 
Science Museum, London 

the disks are often taken from the stock images popular with 
the zoetrope: jumping or speeding horses, athletes, dancers and 
animals in motion. The effect he achieved with his 
"exhibitions" is well documented in the newspapers of the 
1880s, which he meticulously collected. Later, he appended 
long excerpts from this collection to Zoopraxography. Although 
there was sceptical, polemical and critical reaction, too, the 
over-all response was as favorable in London, Vienna, Berlin, 
Munich, New York, Boston and Philadelphia, as it had been in 
Paris. 3? 

While Muybridge worked in Paris, Stanford returned to 
America in December 1881 and went ahead with his own 
publication of a scientific documentation of The Horse in 
Motion, as Shown by Instantaneous Photography with a Study 
on Animal Mechanics by Dr. J.D.B. Stillman (1882), in which 
Muybridge is merely mentioned in Stanford's preface as the 
photographer "employed." [see Documents, F]. Ironically, the 
book did not ellicit the desired and expected response and led 
to great disappointment for its author and sponsor. It was, in 
fact, of no more lasting consequence than Duhousset's earlier 
publication. The consecutive phases of the horse's gaits were 
analytically presented in line drawings, but this alone created 
no sensation. Only a combination of these results with the 
"moving pictures" of Muybridge's zoopraxiscope, or the 
sequential arrangement of the photographs reproduced in his 
later Philadelphia publication, achieved success with a wider 
public. Animal Locomotion (1887) appeared five years after 
Stanford's unsuccessful effort. This elaborate opus offered 781 
plates with more than 20,000 figures of "men, women, and 
children, animals and birds, all actively engaged in walking, 
galloping, flying, working, playing, fighting, dancing, or other 
actions incidental to everyday life, which illustrate motion and 
the play of muscles." This very expensive publication was 
followed by two smaller volumes, Animals in Motion in 1899, 
and The Human Figure in Motion two years later. For Animal 
Locomotion Muybridge had designed a system of arranging the 
individual photographs in linear sequence with several rows 
filling one page, so that they overcame, at least to a degree, the 
impression of single isolated positions. Read horizontally, the 
instantaneous photographs strongly suggest the visual effect of 
movement in time and space, although nothing in print could, 
of course, compare with the continuum achieved by the 
zoopraxiscope. It was precisely this time-space factor of 
representing movement that was to stimulate developments in 
the sciences and arts. 






-— ^E~^cE_ 

Zoetrope strips, England, c. 1870 
each strip is 6" deep 
Oakland Museum 


V J 


II. The Impact of Muy bridge's Work on 
Science and Art 

Marey's mention of "phenomena of short duration," namely, 
"the movement of waves or of the attitudes of men and 
animals in their most rapid motions" refers to problems that 
Leonardo had studied with intense effort centuries earlier. The 
Codex Huygens, once attributed to Leonardo, contains some 
drawings in the second book on human movement illustrating 
successive phases in "cinematographic" fashion, as Panofsky 
described them. 36 Folio 22 illustrates the various stages of a 
man rising, and folio 29 represents a figure, inscribed within a 
circle, bending forward and backward. The consecutive stages 
are not spread over the sheet, but are superimposed in one image. 
Thus, a pictorial effect is achieved similar to Marey's 
chronophotographs. In regard to the flight of birds, Paul Val£ry 
thought that instantaneous photography had "corroborated" 
the images of Leonardo's sketches, and it is most fascinating 
to compare Leonardo's studies and drawings of his Codice sul 
volo degli uccelli (1505) with Marey's researches and 
photographs in Le Vol des oiseaux (1890). In his attempts to 
comprehend the formation of waves and turbulances in water 
and the flight of birds, Leonardo had clearly reached the limits 
of visibility. Without the help of instruments the very speed of 
these natural phenomena eluded his grasp. Centuries of 
eye-straining observation did not permit painters to capture 
what an instantaneous photograph recorded at Palo Alto Farm. 

Muybridge had done. The novel visual effect of his 
chronophotographs produced a striking illusion of motion, 
although individual phases were not clearly visible, since their 
contours were blurred by superimposed exposures. While 
Muybridge's photographs arrested movement to serve correct 
analysis, Marey's chronophotographs suggested spatio-temporal 
continuity in a new pictorial manner. Both Muybridge and 
Thomas Eakins were to later use adaptations of the "Marey- 
Wheel" during the production of Muybridge's Animal 
Locomotion at the University of Pennsylvania in 1884 and 
1885. Marey's multiple images inspired Seurat, e.g., in his 
painting Le Chahut (1889-90), 41 as well as the Futurist 
concept, of which Giacomo Balla's Bambina che corre sul 
balcone (1912) and Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a 
Staircase (1912) are the examples most often quoted. 42 In 1888 
Marey turned to moveable film, and after first using rolls of 
paper, he then replaced them with celluloid film, thus 
constructing the immediate predecessor of the film camera; 
Muybridge, with his zoopraxiscope, had developed a 
forerunner of the film projector. [See Documents, I.] 

In the same year, 1888, Muybridge envisioned, in a 
consultation with Thomas A. Edison, the combination of 
"moving pictures" with sound as a form of mass entertainment. 
He speculated: 

". . .as to the practicability of using that instrument (the 
zoopraxiscope) in association with the phonograph, so as to 
combine, and reproduce simultaneously, in the presence of an 
audience, visible actions and audible words. 43 

Marey and Photography 

When Muybridge arrived in Paris in August 1881, 38 he 
brought along a series of instantaneous photographs of the 
flight of pigeons which he had expressly made on the request 
of the French scientist. 39 Now Muybridge guided Marey's work 
into a direction which determined the further course of his 
studies. From this time on, the French physiologist applied 
photography to his research, using the camera to record and 
represent movement in all its phases. In 1882 Marey designed 
the "photographic gun," which took twelve exposures on one 
plate. Supported by the French government, he continued his 
experiments in this direction on a large scale. With his multiple 
exposures, he created a synthesis of movement in time and 
space, rather than an analysis in sequential rows of images, as 

The Response of Artists 

While Muybridge continued and elaborated upon his Palo Alto 
work at the University of Pennsylvania, the early influence of 
his photographs was felt everywhere, and Marey was among the 
first to recognize their significance: 

"It is instantaneous photography in particular that has 
exercised a noticeable influence upon the arts, because it allows 
to fix in one authentic image phenomena of short duration, like 
the movements of waves or of the attitudes of men and animals 
in their most rapid motions." 44 

Meissonier, Muybridge's ardent supporter and promoter, was 
the first to admit this, and in all of his later paintings of horses, 


E.-J. Marey, chronophotograph, 1882 

he applied the new knowledge provided by the analytical 
photographs. Before the publication of the Stanford/Muybridge 
experiments, Meissonier had labored on one of the major 
paintings of his Napoleon cycle, Friedland, 1807 (1875), now in 
the Metropolitan Museum. This large canvas depicts Napoleon at 
the height of his fame, in Friedland, during the battle. "The 
idea was to show the Emperor Impassible, in the midst of 
movement and struggle." The galloping curiassiers in the 
foreground were much-admired and discussed among artists and 
connoisseurs at the time. Thousands had crowded to see the 
painting, "the happy apogee" of the cycle, as Meissonier had 
himself described it, when it was exhibited for a few days at 
the Cercle de la Place Vendome before being shipped to 
America. When Meissonier later copied this painting in water 
color in 1888. he made some changes as a result of Muybridge's 

Cabanel and Gerome, both present at Meissonier's reception, 
also made use of Muybridge's work, and so did most of the 
battle and horse painters in Europe as well as in America. The 
impact of the photographs was far-reaching, for publications of 
them were numerous, and there was hardly an art academy that 
did not take up the subject in one way or another. Many of the 
famous institutions had invited Muybridge for a presentation, 
and were later among the subscribers to his Animal 
Locomotion. So were many internationally known artists, as we 
gather from the illustration of signatures and lists of subscribers 
that Muybridge, always a tireless promoter of his own work, 
published in a detailed appendix to his Zoopraxography. 
Among the artists, academic painters outnumbered the 

Codex Huygens, folio 22 
Pierpont Morgan Library 



J.-L.-E. Meissonier 

Friedland, 1807 "1875" 

oil on canvas 53V2 x 95'/2 in. 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Gift of Henry Hilton, 1887 

avant-garde, but the wide range of names gathered there reflects 
the enormous response that Muybridge finally drew from the 
art world: Alma-Tadema, Bonnat, Meissonier, Marks, Menzel, 
Millais, Bouguereau, Carolus-Duran, Defregger, Gerome, 
Herkomer, Kaulbach, Lenbach, Puvis de Chavannes, Rodin, 
Whistler, to name a few. 

Although not a subscriber to the later work, Edgar Degas 
(1834-1917) saw the publication of the instantaneous 
photographs in La Nature in 1878, and thereafter followed 
Muybridge's work closely. While most of the contemporary 
artists made a purely literal use of the analytical studies, Degas's 
involvement with them, and with photography in general, is 
much more complex. 46 He was an ardent admirer of the 
medium and a fine photographer himself, and he had a 
perceptive eye for the unconventional pictorial elements which 
photography offered. The numerous sketches Degas made of 
horses and of dancers attest to his preoccupation with the 
correct analysis of movement. He did not only use the new 
photographic analysis in a general way, but he studied it 
intently, making drawings and sculpture after some of the 
plates in Animal Locomotion (the drawing of "Annie G. in 
canter," after plate 620, and the sculpture of a Draught Horse 
after "Johnson Hauling," plate 57 1). 47 

The passionate study of movement in science and art can be 
followed throughout the nineteenth century. During the first 
half of the nineteenth century the caricatural picture story, 
unfettered by the conventions of academic art, had made its 
point with a sequence of rapid movements following each other 
in strips. At the end of the century, when scientific, 
photographic and artistic searches had explored movement and 
its representation to the threshold of the cinema, Edouard 
Vuillard (1868-1940) made a number of drawings of his model 
in cinematographic sequence. Degas and Vuillard were 
enthusiastic photographers who did not hesitate to use the new 
medium for their work. In the early 1890s, Vuillard made two 
lithographs depicting young women in various poses, Llnterieur 
aux cinq poses and L 'Atelier. At about the same time, the artist 
also attempted to render successive movements of a model and 
began to arrange individual studies in a sequential row so that 
they strongly convey the idea of cinematographic progression. 
The Stanford Museum recently acquired a drawing of a young 
woman sewing and apparently in the process of trying on her 
garment. At least two similar drawings are known, all done at 
the same time. 48 In Germany, Franz von Lenbach 




Subscribers to Animal Locomotion 

From Descriptive Zoopraxography, 1893 

Rare Books and Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries 


Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) 

The Fairman Rogers Four-in-Hand "1879" 

oil on canvas, 24 x 36 in., Philadelphia Museum of Art 

Gift of William A. Dick 

(1836-1904), the famous Munich portrait painter and a 
subscriber to the Muybridge Philadelphia publication, was 
fascinated by the new medium, and made extensive use of it 
for his portraits from the 1890s. The painter used a sequence 
of individual stills showing the sitter from different angles and 
in slightly varied poses as well as enlargements. Such a series of 
individual photographic studies does not render continuous 
motion, but as multiple images arranged in a sequence, they 
remind one strongly of a Muybridge page with which Lenbach 
was very familiar. 


In America, too, artists grasped immediately the novelty and 
the potential of instantaneous photographs. Like Meissonier, 
Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) applied the new knowledge in a 
large painting, his first important Philadelphia commission, The 
Fairman Rogers Four-in-Hand, 1879, now in the Philadelphia 
Museum. 50 For this painting, originally called A May Morning 
in the Park, he made drawings and even sculptures after 
Muybridge's series of twelve photographs of Abe Edgington 
trotting, taken in June 1878. At that time a set of six mounted 
photographs of Muybridge's The Horse in Motion were for 
sale; Eakins obtained a set. He certainly was aware of the 
ambivalent reaction such an unconventional representation 
would arouse, for he made use of the correct positions of the 
trot, but abstained from applying the same analytical findings 
for the turning wheels of the carriage, a fact that was severely 
criticized by the American artist Joseph Pennell, Whistler's 
friend and biographer, when he delivered a lecture at the 
London Camera Club Conference in 1891 and vehemently 
denied any pretension to regard photography as an art or to 
upgrade its value for artists: "If you photograph an object in 
motion, all feeling of motion is lost, and the object at once 
stands still." 51 In contrast to Marey, he believed that 
instantaneous photographs could serve as mere suggestions "for 
hints of swift action," but not more. Like Marey, Fairman 
Rogers, "the intelligent art patron" and director of the 
Philadelphia Academy, who had commissioned the painting 
eleven years earlier, had no doubt at that time about the value 
of Muybridge's photographs. [See Documents, D.] Other 
American artists, like Frederick Remington, made ample use of 
the analytical photographs of horses, but the connection 
remained a rather superficial one, restricted as it was to the 
exact rendering of the horse's gaits. Like the European 
academic and battle painters, they were unable to see in any 
other elements of Muybridge's pictures a stepping stone for 
their art. 

Muybridge and the Artists of the Twentieth Century 

With the Futurist concern for the representation of movement 
such narrow, literal interest in Muybridge was gradually 
abandoned. While Frantisek Kupka's drawing Les Cavaliers 
echoes the simulation of moving horses in a cinematographic 
fashion, ' it was, above all, the sequential arrangement of 
successive stills in Animal Locomotion, and the "extreme" 
positions they revealed, that were to have a lasting impact after 
the photographer was long dead and his once-sensational 
zoopraxiscope had become a forgotten relic in the small 
collection of the Central Library in his home town, 
Kingston-upon-Thames. Twentieth-century artists grew 
increasingly responsive to the pictorial potential of Muybridge's 
serial pictures. It was the oddity and awkwardness of certain 
stills, the apparent distortion and unexpected foreshortening of 
moving bodies that attracted Francis Bacon. 53 Bacon became 
so engrossed by Muybridge's photographs that he acquired an 
intimate knowledge of hundreds of his images, especially of 
subjects that went almost unnoticed in the nineteenth century, 
like Muybridge's series Paralytic Child Walking on all Fours. 
The stimulus that Muybridge's work radiated was manifold and 
often indirect, such as we find it in the program and teaching 
of the Bauhaus. But the new concepts proposed in Lazlo 
Moholy-Nagy's book Malerei Fotografie Film (1925) 54 could 
only evolve from the innovations of Muybridge and his 
contemporaries. Andy Warhol was inspired by the sequential 
arrangement of slightly varied images, as in his paintings of 
1963; Warhol eventually turned to making motion pictures. 

A Controversy of Aesthetics 

Muybridge had become aware of the aesthetic problems of his 
innovative photography by the utter shock and disbelief that 
his truthful, but "ungraceful" and "extreme" images had 
caused, and by the sceptical or ambivalent reaction among 
artists and critics who questioned their value for art. For 
centuries, the credo of artists had required the study of nature 
and the truthful rendering of observation. How could this 
principle be reconciled with pictures that contradicted all 
conventional perception, but still were correct beyond all 

Georges Gueroult, in his article "Formes, Couleurs et 


Right, Muy bridge, Sallie Gardner Running 1878 

Zoopraxiscope disk 

Central Library, Kingston-upon-Thames 

Below, the "accepted idea" vs. photographic evidence 

ilfilllt '~"^ a 



ol vim -No. 5 1 


IT n 

'/ :"" : .: 

~ i 


« -Ipa, 


c l y 


Cortom BUetl of • Hunting F>e 

Hu.rt>n<l««* Katurel I 

Mouvements," in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts of 1882, criticized 
precisely this extreme oddity of Muybridge's analytical 

"The attitudes are, for the most part, not only ungraceful, 
but have a false and impossible appearance. The Americans, 
great realists, . . .did not fail to prove Gericault and Vernet 
wrong; they pretended that the photographs of Muybridge were 
a sort of revelation which was to overthrow all accepted 
notions of drawing the horse." 

The author even declared that the Muybridge photographs 
were "wrong," visually speaking, because they showed the 
galloping horse as the human eye can never see it, and therefore, 
at the end of his essay, he urged artists "to speak in their own 
language. 55 Rodin, whose signature appears in the subscription 
list to Animal Locomotion, emphasized this point when 
questioned about how he would reconcile the truth revealed in 
Muybridge's photographs with the traditional claim to copy 
nature sincerely: 

". . .it is the artist who is truthful and it is photography 
which lies, for in reality time does not stop, and if the artist 
succeeds in producing the impression of a movement which 
takes several moments for accomplishment, his work is certainly 
much less conventional than the scientific image, where time is 
abruptly suspended. 56 

Rodin criticized contemporary French battle painters for the 
literal application of Muybridge's findings. Eakins had been 
reprimanded for the same, not because of the oddity of 
individual positions, but because the single isolated still he used 
did not convey the feeling of motion. Although Marey had 
explicitly stated that he did not want to deal with the problems 
of aesthetics, a field that was not his own, he repeatedly 
pointed to the value of his and Muybridge's photographic 
results for artists. Aware of the unexpected and odd attitudes 
such photographic evidence revealed, he was convinced that 
among the numerous positions of successive movement caught 
by the camera, there surely would be one which the artist 
could employ without offending the laws of traditional 
aesthetics. Thus the artist would be able to achieve not only a 
greater variety, but also a new representation of movement. 5 

Muybridge himself recognized clearly why the reaction of 
artists was bound to be so ambivalent: 

"If it is impressed on our minds in infancy that a certain 
arbitrary symbol indicates an existing fact; if this same 

association of emblem and reality is reiterated at the 
preparatory school, insisted upon at college, and pronounced 
correct at the university; symbol and fact — or supposed 

fact become so intimately blended that it is extremely 

difficult to disassociate them, even when reason and personal 
observation teaches us that they have no true relationship." 58 

Once the human mind has made the association of an image 
with reality, even scientific proof has difficulties overcoming 
the convention of such traditionally accepted "signs." 

Paul Valery, who first wrote about Degas's fascination with 
Muybridge's instantaneous photographs of horses, speculated 
about the intricate connection between conventional perception 
and the technical innovation: 

"Muybridge's photographs laid bare all the mistakes that 
sculptors and painters had made in their renderings of the 
various postures of the horse. They showed how inventive the 
eye is, or rather how much the sight elaborates on the data it 
gives us as the positive and impersonal result of observation. 
Between the state of vision as mere patches of color and as 
things or objects, a whole series of mysterious operations takes 
place, reducing to order as best it can the incoherence of raw 
perceptions, resolving contradictions, bringing to bear judgments 
formed since early infancy, imposing continuity, connection, 
and the systems of change which we group under the labels of 
space, time, matter, and movement. This was why the horse 
was imagined to move in the way the eye seemed to see it; and 
it might be that, if these old-style representations were 
examined with sufficient subtlety, the law of unconscious 
falsification might be discovered by which it seemed possible to 
picture the positions of a bird in flight, or a horse galloping, as 
if they could be studied at leisure; but these interpolated pauses 
are imaginary. Only probable positions could be assigned to 
movement so rapid, and it might be worthwhile to try to 
define, by means of documentary comparison, this kind of 
creative seeing by which the understanding filled the gaps in 
sense perception" 


The "issue over which the battle broke," as E.H. Gombrich 
put it, was the galloping horse. 60 Many modern artists were well 
aware of the scientific basis of instantaneous and of 
chronophotographs. In their novelty these photographs carried 
conviction and pictorial potential: they provided the artist with 
both truthful observation of nature and unprecedented images, 
conveying and stimulating the very idea of movement. The time 


dimension visually caught in single or in serial images created 
totally new compositional formulae to represent movement in 
time and space. Finally, the painter's fascination with 
movement acquired not only a scientific basis, but a great 
variety of pictorial models from the multiple and sequential 
exposures of the camera. 

Unaware of the far-reaching developments that the 

photographic venture at Palo Alto Farm would engender, 
Stanford had initiated a series of experiments which influenced 
many fields: the accurate analysis of successive movements by 
instantaneous photography and their synthesis with the 
zoopraxiscope stimulated physiological and other scientific 
research, inspired artists and, at the end of the century, led to 
the creation of an entirely new medium, the one that has come 
to dominate twentieth-century vision: the motion picture. 


1. This article was reprinted in Scientific American, 
Supplement, 28 January 1882. 

2. E. Muybridge, Animals in Motion, London, 1899, p. 4. 

3. he Globe, Paris, 27 September 1881: The article refers to the 
applicability of Muybridge 's work for artists and to a remark 
by Marey, who first drew a parallel between instantaneous 
photographs and Japanese prints: "lis [the artists] 
s'habitueront, comme le disait M. Marey, It peindre le vrai 
aussi bien que les Japonais (pour les oiseaux), et a le faire 
accepter au public." [For another excerpt from the article, 
see Documents, I.] 

4. Muybridge in his description of the zoopraxiscope, op. cit., p. 

5. Muybridge to Frank Shay, Leland Stanford's private 
secretary. [See Documents F, for full texts of the two letters, 
which are in the Collis P. Huntington Collection of the 
George Arents Research Library, Syracuse University.] 

6. This project, announced in the letter of 23 December 1881, 
and the question of the copyright of Muybridge 's 
photographs certainly contributed to the change in 
Stanford's attitude toward Muybridge. The ambitious plan 
for the French publication never materialized. [See Robert 
Haas's biography for a discussion of the change in the 
relationship between Muybridge and his patron.] 

7. Gaston Tissandier, "Les Allures du cheval. Representees par 
la photographic instantanee," La Nature, 14 December 1878, 
pp. 23-26, with heliogravure illustrations. 

8. Marey began his research with a study of blood circulation, 
Physiologic mfdicale de la circulation du sang, Paris, 1863. In 
all of his publications after 1881 he emphasized the great 
value of the photographic method for his work. In several of 

his books he described the Muybridge system and also gave 
credit to Stanford for his pioneering application of 
photography to problems of animai locomotion. Cf. 
particularly, Developpement de la methode grcphique par 
I'emploi de la photographic Supplement a la methode 
graphique, Paris, 1885, pp. 7-12. Marey's own works provide 
the best source for any study of his physiological research 
and the development of his photographic methods and the 
cameras he constructed for his investigations. 

9. Marey's letter, dated 18 December 1878, was published in La 
Nature for 28 December 1878, p. 54, and Muybridge's 
answer, dated 17 February 1879, appeared in the issue of 22 
March, 1879, p. 246. [For the texts of the two letters, see 
Documents, C] 

10. E. J. Marey, Animal Mechanism, a Treatise on Terrestrial and 
Aerial Locomotion, London and New York, 2nd ed., 1874, 
The International Scientific Series, vol. XI, p. 138 and pp. 
147-148. The first French edition appeared in 1873 under 
the title La Machine animale, locomotion terrestre et 
aerie nne 

Other physiological research was carried out at the same 
time, cf. J. Bell Pettigrew, Animal Locomotion, London, 
International Scientific Series, vol. VII, 1872. Earlier 
investigations include the analytical attempts made by the 
Weber brothers; by Wachter, who published in 1862 a series 
of drawings illustrating the gallop; and by Raabe. Helmut and 
Alison Gernsheim, in The History of Photogrcphy, London, 
1969, pp. 435-436, even refer to earlier suggestions, which 
went in the same direction as the Stanford/Muybridge 
experiments: "In 1860 Thomas Rose, an amateur 
photographer, suggested using 100 stereoscopic cameras in a 


row, giving exposures of 1/6 second at intervals of the same 
duration. The positive prints were to be mounted in pairs on 
a large phenakistiscope disk, which, when revolving, would 

reproduce the action of life in stereoscopic relief i.e. a 

three-dimensional "moving picture". (From The 
Photographic News, 18 May 1860, p. 33.) Cf. also: Beaumont 
Newhall, The History of Photography, Museum of Modern 
Art, New York, 1949, chapter 7, "The Conquest of Action," 
pp. 103-118. 

11. Emile Duhousset, Le Cheval, Paris, 1874. Another book 
devoted to the study of the horse and its gaits had appeared 
the year before: Emile Debost, Cinesie Equestre, Paris, 1873, 
but the author did not consider representations of the horse 
in art. 

12. Duhousset not only provided illustrations for Marey's Animal 
Mechanism, but also for the long article which Marey had 
published in two installments in La Nature two months 
before Tissandier broke the news of Muybridge's successful 
experiments, cf. Marey, "Moteurs animes. Experiences de 
physiologie graphique," La Nature, 28 September and 5 
October 1878. In these articles, Marey published a lecture he 
had given at the French Association for the Advancement of 
Science in August. In Animal Mechanism, p. 152, Marey 
specifically acknowledged his indebtedness to Duhousset 's 
experiments and to his faithful translations of the graphic 
notations. Later, in La Chronophotographie, Paris, 1899, 
Marey again noted how close these drawings came to the 
positions of the horse as revealed in Muybridge's photographs 
(P. 8). 

13. Philippe Burty, "L'Oeuvre de M. Meissonier et les 
photographies de M. Bingham," Gazette des Beaux-Arts, Vol. 
XX, January 1866, pp. 78-89. 

14. All references and quotations after the English translation: 
Vallery K.O. Greard, Meissonier, His Life and His Art, 2 
Vols., London, 1897; this reference, Vol. I, p. 78. 

15. "In the days before photography it was very difficult to work 
from actual data." Greard, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 326. 

16. Paul Meyerheim, Adolf von Menzel, Erinnerungen, Berlin, 
1906, pp. 97-102. 

17. Greard, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 78. 

18. Ibid., Vol.11 p. 266. 

19. G. Potonnie, Cent ans de photographie, 1839-1939, Paris, 
Societe" d'histoire generale et d'histoire diplomatique, classe 
de Vhistoire des sciences, I, 1940, p. 158. No source is given 
for this episode. 

20. Date given by Muybridge in his article published in the San 
Francisco Examiner, 6 February 1881. [See Documents, E.] 

21. In the English translation the text reads: "He asked me to 
paint her portrait." The reference to "her" certainly is a 
mistranslation of the French text, Meissonier, ses 

souvenirs ses entretiens. Precedes d'une etude sur sa vie et 

son oeuvre par M.O. Greard, Paris, 1897, pp. 194-195. It is 
not clear from the sentence if Meissonier meant Mrs. or Mrs. 
Stanford's portrait, but he did paint only one portrait, that 
of Leland Stanford, now in the Stanford Museum. Historical 
fact and the context of the whole paragraph make it quite 
clear that the translation should read; "He asked me to paint 
his portrait." This has caused some confusion in the 

22. The usual estimate of the costs of these experiments is 
around $40,000. Exaggerated rumors about Stanford's 
expenses circulated in America as well as in Europe, and, if 
this account is correct, were evidently not disallowed by 

23. Gre'ard, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 267. 

24. The Attitudes of Animals in Motion: A Series of Photographs 
Illustrating the Consecutive Positions Assumed by Animals in 
Performing Various Movements. "Executed at Palo Alto, 
California, in 1878 and 1879, Copyright 1881, by 

25. This article, signed VAL and dated "Paris, June 26, 1881," 
appeared in the Sacramento Daily Record-Union, 23 July 
1881 under the title: "How Governor Stanford Converted 
Meissonier. The Great Horse Painter Finds that He Has Been 
in Error as to the Horse all His Life." The author must refer 
to Stanford's second visit to Meissonier's studio in June 
1881, when he brought along a bound volume of Muybridge's 
photographs. At this time the French painter knew of 
Muybridge's work through Marey and the prints which 
Stanford must have shown him in 1879, during his first visit. 

26. Muybridge, dedication page of The Attitudes of Animals in 

27. Gre'ard, op. cit., II, p. 289: "Leland Stanford, Governor of 
California, asked me to paint his portrait in 1881. I had it 
engraved for him by Jules Jacquet. His cane was introduced 
for a special reason. It was the one he always used. He prized 
it greatly, for on the handle was a little gold plate, made from 
the first nugget he found, the foundation of his 

fortune. On the table by the side of the famous cane lies 

an open album. It contains the first horses and animals in 
motion photographed by the American Muridge." (With the 
wrong spelling of Muybridge's name in the English 
translation). According to Muybridge, Stanford paid $10,000 
for his portrait. [Letter of 28 November 1881, see 
Documents, F]. 

28. G.T. Clark, Leland Stanford, War Governor of California, 
Railroad Builder and Founder of Stanford University, 
Stanford University Press, 1931, p. 343. 

29. Potonnie, op. cit., p. 125, without source. Cf. also Marey, La 
Chronphotographie, pp. 6-8. 


30. Robert Taft, Photography and the American Scene, New 
York, 1938; new edition, New York, Dover, 1964, p. XIII, n. 
8. Tegetmeier reported his presentation in the Field, London, 
28 June 1879. Other references in: San Francisco Bulletin, 5 
May 1880 and Alta California of the same date. 

31. Marey, Animal Mechanism, p. 137. Marey adds that Carlet 
and Mathias Duval, professor of anatomy at the Ecole des 
Beaux-Arts, carried out this plan. 

32. Marey, Le Mouvement, Paris, 1894, pp. 300-301. 

33. Duhousset, "Reproduction instantanee des allures du cheval, 
au moyen de l'electricite appliquee a la photographie," 
L'lllustration, 25 January 1879. Muybridge's collection of 
newspaper clippings also includes an advertisement of 
Duhousset's book from Journal Amusant, 7 June 1879. 

34. E. Muybridge, Zoopraxography, or the Science of Animal 
Locomotion Made Popular, University of Pennsylvania, 
1893. His Appendix A, pp. 1-2 gives a detailed syllabus of the 
lectures and an abbreviated list of the subjects on some of his 
disks. "Abbreviated Criticism," Appendix A, pp. 4-34. 
Appendix B, pp. 8-14, lists the subscribers to the Philadelphia 
publication. The original glass positives that Muybridge used 
for his lectures are now in the Museum and Art Gallery at 
Kingston-upon-Thames and in the Science Museum, London. 

35. For the enthusiastic as well as the critical response, see also 
Aaron Scharf, Art and Photography, London, 1968, in his 
chapter "The Representation of Movement in Photography 
and Art", pp. 162-178. 

36. Erwin Panofsky, The Codex Huygens and Leonardo da 
Vinci's Art Theory, Studies of the Warburg Institute, vol. 13, 
London, 1940, see particularly fols. 22 and 29, pp. 27-29 
with figs. 10 and 13. 

37. Paul Vale'ry, Degas Danse Dessin, Paris, Vollard, 1936, p. 60. 

38. In Le Mouvement, p. 108, Marey gives August as the month 
of Muybridge's arrival in Paris. 

39. Le Mouvement, p. 108. In Physiologie du mouvement. Le 
Vol des oiseaux, Paris, 1890, p. 131, after describing 
Muybridge's method of taking instantaneous photographs, 
Marey again mentions the photographs of pigeons which he 
had brought along to Paris, and points to the differences of 
Muybridge's method and his own, which he had developed in 
the meantime. Whereas the Muybridge method did not 
produce successive photographs of flying birds which could 
be arranged, like those of galloping horses, in a series, Marey 's 
photographic gun enabled him to take such pictures; he 
published them in this book. 

40 In an excellent study, "Eakins, Muybridge and the Motion 
Picture Process", Art Quarterly, Vol. XXVI, Summer 1963, 
pp. 194-216, W.I. Homer, with J. Talbot, stressed the fact 
that Eakins's contribution to the development of the motion 
picture consisted in the perfection of methods and devices 

constructed and used earlier by Marey and Muybridge, rather 
than in an innovative mechanism of his own. Homer and 
Talbot also pointed out that Muybridge worked with a 
modification of the "Marey-Wheel" in 1884. Eakins made 
analytical drawings of the Muybridge photographs based on 
Marey's diagrams as well as sketches and sculpture from the 
Edgington series for his painting The Fairman Rogers 

41. In a letter to the Burlington Magazine, "Concerning 
Muybridge, Marey and Seurat," Vol. 104, September 1962, 
pp. 391-392, W.I. Homer contested this connection that 
Scharf had made earlier in "Painting, Photography and the 
Image of Movement," ibid.. Vol. CIV, 1962, pp. 186-195. 
Even if there was no direct influence, it seems unlikely that 
Seurat was unaware of Marey's researches. For further 
discussion, cf. A. Scharf, Art and Photography, pp. 177-178. 

42. For the impact of Marey's chronophotographs, see also A. 
Scharf, op. cit., and, more general, O. Stelzer, Kunst und 
Photographie, Munich, 1966. Balla's and Duchamp's 
paintings were also exhibited in Malerei nach Fotografie, von 
der Camera Obscura bis zur Pop Art, Munich, Stadtmuseum, 
1970, cat. nos. 982 and 987. The well-documented catalogue 
is by J. A. Schmoll gen. Eisenwerth. 

43. Muybridge, Animals in Motion, p. 4 

44. Marey, Le Mouvement, p. 165. 

45. Greard, op. cit., II, pp. 306-306, quotes the letter which 
Meissonier wrote about the painting to Mr. Stewart of New 
York, the purchaser. [See also Documents, G.] Meissonier 
had worked on the painting over a period of ten years. About 
the galloping cuirassiers, p. 307; the watercolor, p. 309; 
about the concept of the entire Napoleon cycle, pp. 298-299. 
Like every other figure in the painting, each horse had its 
own dossier of studies. 

According to E. Duhousset, Le Cheval dans la nature at dans 
L'art, Paris, 1902, Meissonier copied the painting in a 
watercolor larger than the original oil for the Exposition 
universelle, 1889 (now in the Huntington Hartford 
Collection) and he made only minor modifications. 
Duhousset states that it was painful for Meissonier to accept 
the positions of galloping horses as they were revealed in 
instantaneous photographs. But whereas Meissonier made 
only slight modifications for the watercolor 1807, in later 
years he modeled in wax a rider after a Muybridge 
photograph for the painting Le matin de la bataille de 
Castiglione, which was shown with the wax model in a small 
exhibition at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1892. 

46. For Degas 's attitude toward, and use of photography, see A. 
Scharf, "Painting, Photography, and the Image of 
Movement," Burlington Magazine, CIV, 1962, pp. 186-195, 
and in Art and Photography, chapters eight and nine, an 





extremely detailed, well-documented and well-illustrated 

Van Deren Coke, The Painter and the Photograph, New 
Mexico University Press, 1964, p. 15. 

A very closely related drawing of probably the same model is 
reproduced in Art News Annual, XXIII, 1954, p. 55, titled 
Studies of a Japanese Model and dated ca. 1900. Another 
sketchbook drawing which depicts a woman sewing in seven 
successive individual studies is reproduced in: E. Vuillard, 
Cahiers de dessins, note by J. Salomon and preface by A. 
Vaillant, Paris, 1950 (no pagination). For Vuillard 's own 
photography and use of it for his work, see the catalogue of 
the exhibition Vuillard et son Kodak, London, Lefevre 
Gallery, March 1964. 

Malerei nach Fotografie, op. cit., pp. 75-90 with illustrations. 
Eakins entered into correspondence with Muybridge in 1879; 
he suggested a new system of marking the background against 
which the horses were photographed for more accurate 
measurement. He had lantern slides made from the series, and 
used them for instruction at the Philadelphia Academy. 
Gordon Hendricks has discussed A May Morning in the Park 
in great detail: Bulletin of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 
Spring, 1965, pp. 49-64, and also the correspondence 
between Eakins and Muybridge, and between Fairman Rogers 
and Muybridge. The article is a detailed documentation of 
the connection between Eakins' work on the painting and 
Muybridge's photographic analysis of the horse's trot. See 
also: L. Goodrich, Thomas Eakins, New York, 1933; and B. 
Newhall, "Photography and the Development of Kinetic 
Visualization," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld 
Institutes, VII, London, 1944, pp. 40-45. 
The exhibition catalogue by Gordon Hendricks, Thomas 

Eakins: His Photographic Works, Pennsylvania Academy of 
the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1969, documented in several 
instances how often Eakins used his own photographs for 
paintings, and further, how much he regarded photography as 
a part of his work. 

Joseph Pennell, "Photography as a Hindrance and Help to 
Art," British Journal of Photography, London, 8 May 1891, 
Vol. 38, pp. 294-296. 

Exhibited in Malerei nach Fotografie, cat. no. 980. 
J. Rothenstein and R. Alley, Francis Bacon, London 1964, 
deal extensively with the relationship between Muybridge's 
photographs and Bacon's paintings. More general: J. Russell, 
Francis Bacon, London, 1971, pp. 109-113. 
Bauhausbucher 8, Munich, 1925. The first English edition: 
Painting, Photography, Film, with a note by H. Wingler and a 
postscript by O. Stelzer, London, 1969. 

G. Gueroult, "Formes, Couleurs et Mouvements," Gazette des 
Beaux-Arts, 2nd period, Vol. 25, Paris, 1882, p. 178 and 179. 
Quoted after the English translation, Paul Gsell, On Art and 
Artists, London, 1958, p. 91. The original French edition 
appeared in 1911. 
57. Marey, Photographie du mouvement, Paris, 1892, particularly 
p. 56 and pp. 62-64. 

Muybridge, Animals in Motion, p. 164. 

Quoted after the English translation by D. Paul, Paul Valery, 
Degas, Manet, Morisot, introduction by D. Cooper, Vol. XII of 
the collected works, New York, 1960, p. 41. First published 
in 1936. 
60. E.H. Gombrich, "Moment and Movement in Art, "Journal of 
the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, XXVII, 1964, pp. 
296-297 in regard to Muybridge. 







Frangoise Forster-Hahn is Curator of the Stanford University 
Museum of Art and Lecturer, Stanford University 



Selected and annotated by Anita Ventura Mozley and J. Sue Porter 

A. Technical Matters 

"A New Sky Shade" 

Under this title, Muybridge published 
details of a device that made it possible to 
vary exposure times on a single plate, thus 
compensating for the difference in 
sensitivity of his plates to different colors 
in the landscape. The article appeared in 
the prestigious journal of photography, 
The Philadelphia Photographer, edited by 
Edward L. Wilson, Vol. V., May, 1869, and 
is reprinted here through the kind help of 
Beaumont Newhall. It is signed "Helios, " 
the pseudonym Muybridge used for his 
photographic work until he published his 
Yosemite series of 1872. 

I have been reading with some interest 
M. Carey Lea's article "On New 
Diaphragms," in the February number of 
the Photographer, and foreseeing certain 
disadvantages and inconveniences by the 
use of the diaphragms therein proposed, I 
submit to your notice a sky-shade, which I 
have had in use some time, with the 
exception of a minor arrangement included 
here, and which I think will be found to 
embrace all the advantages claimed either 
for the perforated metal shade of Mr. Lea, 
or the inclined diaphragm of Mr. Sutton, 
with the addition of greater adaptability 
and simplicity in use. 

A, is the camera front supporting the 
lenses a a. B is a frame of wood of a 
suitable size, and extending outward from 
the camera-front as far as convenient, 
without obstructing any portion of the 
view it is desirable to include in the 
negative. C, C, are grooves in which the 

shutter, Fig. 2, is kept in place. D, D, D, 
are sections of rubber tubing, to break the 
force of the shutter in a rapid descent. E, 
E, are springs, forced inward in its descent 
by the projecting top of the shutter, H, and 
in their relaxation preventing any rebound 
of the shutter. M 1 and M 2 are 
spring-catches, the lower to hold the 
shutter up while focussing, the upper for 
the same purpose when an instantaneous 
exposure is desired. Fig. 2 is a rear view of 
the shutter (i.e. of the part towards the 
camera), made of wood, and as light as is 
consistent with its duties. H, is a bar of 
wood firmly attached to the shutter 
proper, G. O, 0, are vertical bars attached 
to G, moving in the grooves, C, C, acting as 
guides when the shutter is elevated, and 
also as supports to an iron rod, I, to which 
they are connected by a leather hinge at 
the line, V; the rod, I, is of greater length 
than the width of the frame, and works 
outside, or rather in front of it. K, is a 
piece of black cloth, which is attached to 
the iron rod, I, at its upper part, and to the 
bottom of the frame, B, at its lower part. 
The manner of using the apparatus is 
self-evident. The frame, B, being attached 
to the camera, the springs, E, E, are 
compressed when the shutter rises a short 
distance by the expansion of the rubber 
springs, D, D; the shutter is now elevated 
and supported by the spring-catch, M , 
and the focussing is performed (in my 
camera the frame is about two inches deep, 
but I have an arrangement to extend it 
three or four inches further from the front 
of the camera if necessary; a simple piece 
of board cut into steps on either side, and 
the focussing-cloth does duty as a shade for 
the space left open at the top). This done, 
the shutter is released from the 




Muybridge's lateral sky-shade, 1879 
Stanford University Museum of Art 

spring-catch, M , and allowed to fall to the 
sky-line, which is carefully noted by means 
of the scale, F, Fig. 1, and the pin, L, Fig. 
2. It is convenient to divide the scale into 
one-eighth inches; this will be found near 
enough for practical purposes. A 
correspondingly adapted scale may be 
drawn on the focussing-screen; this, 
however, will perhaps lead to confusion, as 
each lens will require a different scale. I 
content myself by fixing the shutter in 
place when the sky-line is reached, and 
then examining the indicating-pin in front. 
The middle distances are now noted, and 
the shutter drawn up and fastened by the 
catch, M , when the sky is sufficiently 
bright, or the lenses sufficiently rapid for 
an "instantaneous" exposure, the shutter is 
released, and the time occupied by the 
exposure is regulated by the size of the 
opening, P, Fig. 2. If a more lengthened 
exposure is desired, it is best first to raise 
the shutter to the height required, and give 
the necessary exposure to the sky, then 
lower it and give the middle distances what 
additional time is requisite, and finally 
complete the exposure of the foreground; 
it, of course, being understood that the 
required exposure of the foreground is 
longer than that for objects at greater 
distance; should that not be the case, the 
shutter can readily be moved or adapted to 
give middle or distant objects any 
comparative exposure necessary, by having 
a false front attached by thumbscrews or 
other contrivances at R, R; in this event 
either side may be made to drop lower 

than the other if required, as indicated by 
the dotted line, S, Fig. 2. When, however, 
as is sometimes the case, one side of a 
picture requires a longer exposure to 
obtain detail than the other, openings, N, 
N, Fig. 1, can be made in the sides of the 
frame, and a shutter, Fig. 3, with openings 
of suitable size, T, T, made therein, and, if 
accurately made, and the lenses are exact (I 
have presumably written for stereoscopic 
work all through), the portion of the image 
resulting from each lens will be 
correspondingly shaded by moving the 
shutter in the required direction. x 

It is highly probable this apparatus may 
not be new to many of your readers, but I 
do not recollect observing either in your or 
any other photographic journal, a 
description of anything, for the purpose 
intended, I find so convenient or useful. A 
more elaborate apparatus for the extension 
or contraction of the shade can be made 
upon the principle of the bellows, and 
worked by a rack and pinion if desired, 
but, for almost all operators, the present 
form will be all-sufficient. 

It is just possible, a description of my 
focussing-cloth for field-work, may not be 
uninteresting to a few of your readers. I 
prefer, for many reasons, a draw-shutter to 
my plate-holder that comes entirely out, 
and before adopting my present cloth, was 
frequently troubled with light-struck 
plates. It is large, of course, covering the 
camera with about three-feet drop from 
the bottom all around, and covered with 
white cotton cloth outside. On one side 

(the right) I have an attachment like the 
sleeve to a coat, so fashioned, with an 
opening at the bottom large enough to 
insert the hand; the cloth being fastened 
under the camera, I draw out the 
plate-holder shutter into this sleeve or bag, 
as it may be called, and let it hang down 
out of the way until the exposure is 
complete; you will readily see the light has 
no chance of getting to the plate while the 
shutter is being withdrawn. The white 
covering is a great protection, keeping both 
the head and the camera cool. 


San Francisco, March, 1869 

A Question of Quality 

Muybridge joined Bradley & Rulofson's 
Gallery after his Yosemite expedition of 
1872; his old publisher, Houseworth, 
retaliated by putting a worn and badly 
mounted print from the Yosemite series in 
his window. The print carried the Bradley 
& Rulofson name. The following exchange 
was published in the Alta California on 
several successive issues in 1873: 

"Messrs. Bradley and Rulofson are 
much obliged to Mr. Houseworth for 
giving their names a place in his window; 
but attaching them to an old, soiled print 
from a condemned negative of Muybridge's 
(neither print nor negative being made by 


them), shows to what a wretched strait the 
poor gentleman is driven in a fruitless 
effort to compete in business." 

Houseworth replied: 

"Thomas Houseworth and Co.— To the 
public in general, and a reply to the card of 
Bradley and Rulofson — The Yosemite View 
exhibited by us in our window is one of a 
set of forty furnished to a subscriber by 
Bradley and Rulofson for the sum of $100 
and bears their name as the publishers. The 
View is a fair sample of the lot which was 
sold to me at a heavy discount on the cost 
and is now in the same condition as when 
received by the original purchaser. We 
would further remark that we had tried to 
purchase from these gentlemen some of 
their views and they positively refused to 
sell us, for reasons which we leave others to 

The editor then got the following comment 
from Muy bridge: 

"Aesop in one of his fables related that 
a miserable little ass, stung with envy at the 
proud position the lion occupied in the 
estimation of the forest residents, seized 
some shadowy pretext of following and 
braying after him with the object of 
annoying and insulting him. The lion 
turning his head and observing from what a 
despicable source the noise proceeded, 
silenty pursued his way, intent upon his 
own business, without honoring the ass 
with the slightest motion. Silence and 
contempt, says Aesop, are the best 
acknowledgements for the insults of those 
whom we despise." 

On Bradley & Rulofson, 
Muybridge's Publishers 1874 2 

In July, 1874, the Philadelphia 
Photographer announced the award of the 
medal in their initial prize competition to 
Bradley & Rulofson, who "sent us six 
negatives of the same subject, all equally 
perfect, being absolutely without spot or 

Brandenburg Album, p. 98 

blemish. . . . They are among the purest 
specimens of photography it has ever been 
our good fortune is inspect. " The issue 
carried a print of one of the negatives 
(reproduced in R. Taft, Photography and 
the American Scene, New York, 1964, p. 
332; a print of one of the other negatives 
of the same subject appears on p. 98 of the 
Brandenberg Album, see illustration), 
letters from Rulofson and his operator, Mr. 
Taylor, and the views of the working parts 
of the Bradley & Rulofson establishment 
reproduced here. The material is reprinted 
through the courtesy of Beaumont Newhall 
and The International Museum of 
Photography, Rochester, New York. 

Rulofson to Wilson, Editor of the 
Philadelphia Photographer ("San 
Francisco, May 13th, 1874") 

Friend Wilson: 

I herewith forward to you a note from 
Mr. Taylor, giving our formulae for 
working, and containing some of his views 
on the subject, but I must confess I would 
not have you understand that I indorse all 
he says on the subject, of the relative 
quality of San Francisco work, nor the 
causes to which he ascribes the assumed 
superiority, while I would be slow to 
detract from the industry, perseverance, 
and skill of our photographers. I think it 
but fair to admit that they possess some 
climatic advantages not enjoyed elsewhere 
in America. I don't regard the light as 
superior in actinic power to that of the 
Atlantic States; but we do possess a more 
even temperature, the thermometer seldom 
rising above 75 ° or falling below 60 , with 
a slightly humid atmosphere, presenting 
the most favorable conditions for delicate 
chemical processes involving the use of 
volatile substances. And a Californian's 
proverbial modesty causes us to cast about 
for some natural cause to which to 
attribute any superiority, which our friends 
may kindly ascribe to our productions. 

I send herewith a plan of our gallery, 
from the street entrance to elevator, to the 
roof; there are in all twenty-nine rooms, 
reasonably adapted to their several uses. 
You will observe that we formerly 
occupied the corner building only; we then 
cut through into the adjoining building on 
Sacramento Street, and later, effected an 
entrance into the one on Montgomery 
Street. We are now giving employment to 
thirty-four hands all told. We employ six 
Chinese; they are faithful, industrious, and 
expert, valuable aids in the l.'ounting and 
finishing department. 3 

We made several attempts to obtain an 
interior negative of our reception-room, of 
which we are proud, but failed, owing to 
the long exposure required, and the throng 
constantly interrupting. . . . 
William H. Rulofson 


D.B. Taylor to Wilson ("San Francisco, 
May 4th, 1874") 

Dear Sir: 

In obedience to your request, I give you 
my formula by which the prize negatives 
were made. It is an old and long-used 
formula, but I think there is not better 
when carefully used. 


Ether and Alcohol, equal parts. 

Cotton, 6 grains to ounce. 

Iodide of Ammonium, 4V2 grains. 

Bromide of Potassium, 2 grains. 

Silver bath 40 grains, slightly acid. 


Water, 96 ounces 

Iron, 6 ounces 

Acetic Acid, 10 ounces 

Alcohol, 6 ounces 

The above is the formula I have worked 
for the last four years, all the time I have 
been with Bradley & Rulofson, and our 
negatives, in quality, improve from year to 

year not by trying every newfangled 

notion that comes along, but by giving our 
closest attention to the details of the 
process. I have worked in photography for 
the last sixteen years in the Eastern and 
Western States, and have met more 
thoroughbred photographers in San 
Francisco than I ever saw in my life before. 
This city has the reputation of making 
some of the finest photographs in the 
Union, and I might say the world, and it 

is all due to the careful, hard workers in 
photography. The climate has nothing to 
do with it. Work, work does it; work is the 
word with us. 
D.B. Taylor 
Operator with B. & R. 

Copy Photographs 1877 

The following article on Muybridge's 
proposal of November, 1877, to 
photographically copy the Santa Clara 
County records is from the San Jose 
Mercury for 9 November 1877. (Kingston 
Scrapbook, p. 10.) Shortly before this, 
Muy bridge had published his photograph 

The two upper floors of Bradley & Rulofson's Gallery, 1874. 



of Occident Trotting at Full Speed, "an 
Automatic Electro-Photograph." The 
proposal to photocopy the records was 
turned down by the Committee of the 
Board of Supervisors, chiefly because the 
amount of money required was "more than 
they could secure in a lump/' 
Photocopying machines were finally 
installed in the County Offices in 1949? 

"The Muy bridge Process" 

Mr. E.J. Muybridge, the San Francisco 
photographer, who offers to photograph 
the county records, arrived in this city 
yesterday, and at 2 P.M. appeared before a 
committee from the Board of Supervisors 
and a number of prominent citizens for the 
purpose of explaining the process and 
answering such questions as might be 
propounded. He brought with him for the 
inspection of the committee a copy of the 
Mexican records made in 1858 for 
reference in the case of the United States 
vs. Jose Y. [sic] Limantour. 6 A perfect 
facsimile of every document was given, and 
though nearly twenty years have elapsed 
since the photographing was done, the 
records are in as good condition apparently 
as when just copied. He said that by the 
photographing process the copy would be 
more distinct where ink was yellow or 
faded in the original, but there would be 
no improvement at where the original 
showed signs of wear. He offered to copy 
25 books, or 15,000 pages, for 35 cents per 
page for one book. If a second copy was 
desired he would furnish it for 13 cents per 
page. Mr. Hardy, County Recorder, stated 
that the books would average about three 
and one-half folios to a page, which at 12 
cents per folio would amount to 42 cents. 
W.W. Wright, the well known San Jose 
photographer, who was present, gave it as 
his opinion that the proposition of Mr. 
Muybridge was a liberal one and that he 
had figured it down to the lowest notch. 
He felt satisfied the work would be well 
done. Mr. Muybridge further stated that he 
would also furnish the paper necessary for 
the work, the county to do the binding. 
The matter was taken under advisement 

and a report will be handed in at the 
December meeting of the Board. 

Muybridge's Testimonials 1878-79 

Muy bridge's testimony to Dallmeyer lenses 
is reprinted from Anthony's Photographic 
Bulletin (New York), September 1878 
(letter dated "San Francisco, Aug. 17, 
1878"). The London firm of Dallmeyer is 
often citted in The Philadelphia 
Photographer of the period as the 
manufacturer of superior lenses. (Kingston 
Scrapbook, p. 32.) 

Messrs. E. & H.T. Anthony & Co. 
Dear Sirs : 

I must say the partial success I have met 
with must be attributed to the 
extraordinary rapidity and wonderful 
depth of focus of the Dallmeyer lenses. In 
my next experiments I intend reducing the 
exposure to the 5,000 part of a second, 
and am confident, with some slight 
modification of my chemicals, to obtain 
better results than the present. 

I have more than sixty lenses of 
Dallmeyer's manufacture in my equipment, 
and have used them exclusively, within the 
Arctic Circle and under the Equator, at an 
elevation of 10,000 feet and beneath the 
waters of our Bay. with exposures 

varying from 18 hours to less than the 
2,000 part of a second, and must candidly 
confess I cannot afford to use any other. 
Faithfully yours, 

Under the heading "Fast Horses and 
Well-Made Apparatus, "Muybridge's letter 
in praise of the manufacturer's cameras 
(dated "San Francisco, May 23rd, 1879") 
was printed in Photographic Times for July 
1879. (Kingston Scrapbook, p. 52.) 

Scovill Manufacturing Co., 419 and 421 
Broome Street, New York: 

The Camera duly arrived. In reference 
to it I scarce know which emotion to 
express most emphatically, delight or 

astonishment; probably the former, as the 
thirty Cameras of your manufacture which 
I have now in use afforded me ample right 
to expect your skillful assistants would 
have abundant genius to accomplish most 
successfully the task imposed upon them. 
In simplicity of design, adaptability to any 
possible purpose, facility of use, strength 
of construction, suitability of material 
selected, extreme lightness, and elegance of 
finish, this Camera affords abundant 
evidence of the remarkable skill of your 
operatives, and the comprehensive 
resources of your manufactory [sic] . I very 
much question whether ever before was 
there constructed an 8 x 10 Camera 
equally well adapted for the studio or the 
field, and so convenient for any required 
purposes, whether with one or a pair of 
lenses of focal length ranging from 2V2 to 
26 inches, and weighing 5V2 lbs. only. 
Permit me to congratulate you. 

Muybridge's Patents 1879 

On 27 June 18 78, Muybridge filed an 
application for letters patent on an 
"Improvement in the Method and 
Apparatus for Photographing Objects in 
Motion." On 11 July 1878, he filled 
another application for letters patent on 
the same subject. Both patents were issued 
by the United States Patent Office on 4 
March 1879. The first was issued as Patent 
No. 212,865; the second as Patent No. 
212,864. Muybridge's introductions to 
both patents are given below and are 
illustrated with the drawings that 
accompanied the issued patents. The 
drawings are reproduced through the 
courtesy of Robert B. Haas. 

No. 212,865 (application filed 27 June 

Be it known that I, Edward [sic] J. 
Muybridge, of the city and county of San 
Francisco, State of California, have 


invented certain Improvements in Taking 
Instantaneous Photographs of Objects in 
Motion; and I do hereby declare that the 
following is a full, clear, and exact 
description thereof, reference being had to 
certain drawings accompanying this 
specification, and forming a part of the 

My invention has reference to that 
branch of photography which is known as 
"instantaneous photography," and it 
applies more particularly where the object 
to be photographed is in rapid motion. 

The principal object which I have in 
view is to take photographic views of 
horses that are moving rapidly under speed, 
in order to determine the posture, position, 
and relation of their limbs in different 
portions of their step or stride. 

My invention relates to a double-acting 
slide, with the means for operating the 
same, and to a novel background, which is 
graduated or marked so as to gage [sic] the 
position of the horse and the posture of his 
limbs. . . . 

Referring to the accompanying 
drawings, Figure 1, Sheet 1, is a 
perspective; Fig. 2, Sheet 1, is an end 
section, showing camera slides, track, and 
background. Fig. 1, Sheet 2, is a section of 
slide-frame, showing trigger, lever, 
armature, and magnets. Fig. 2, Sheet 2, 
represents a photograph. Fig. 3, Sheet 2, 
represents a contact-plate. . . . 

No. 212,864 (application filed 11 July 


. . .My invention has reference to a 
novel arrangement for exposing the 
sensitive plates of photographic cameras, 
for the purpose of taking instantaneous 
impressions of objects in motion. 

In a cotemporaneous [sic] application 
for a patent filed by me I have described 
and claimed an arrangment for operating a 
slide or slides for this purpose by an 
electric circuit which was established or 
broken by the object to be photographed 
as it passed in front of the camera. 


Method and Apparatus for Photographing Objects 

in Motion. 

No. 212.865. 

Patented Mar. 4. 1879. 

I2g 2 

No. 212.865. 


Patented Mar. 4, 1879. 

Ilff / 

Jig J 





Method-and Apparatus for Photographing Object 

in Motion. 

No. 212.864 Patented Mar. 4, 1879. 



My present invention relates to an 
arrangement whereby the moving object is 
made to operate the slide simply by 
mechanical means. 

Referring to the accompanying 
drawings, Figure 1 is a back view of the 
frame and slides. Fig. 2 is an end view. . . . 

B. The Murder 1874 

From the Calistoga Free Press, Saturday, 
24 October 1874 (all spellings follow those 
in the transcript of the article in the 
Yosemite National Park Research Library) 

Early Sunday morning last, the news of 
a terrible tragedy, which occurred the night 


previous at about 11 o'clock, at the 
residence of Wm. A. Stuart, near the 
Yellow Jacket quicksilver mine, about 
seven and a half miles west of Calistoga, in 
this county, was received here. The 
particulars as near as we can ascertain, are 
as follows: On Saturday last, just before 
the departure of the San Francisco boat for 
Vallejo, Edward J. Muybridge, a well 
known photographic artist in San 
Francisco, by means of letters which fell 
into his hands, made the discovery that his 
wife, who is now in Oregon, and to whom 
he was devotedly attached, had been on 
terms of criminal intimacy, for some time 
past, with Major Harry Larkyns, formerly 
connected with several San Francisco 
journals, but lately engaged in getting up a 
map of the mines in this and adjoining 
counties. Frenzied over the discovery, he 
immediately made his way to Calistoga, 
and learning here that the destroyer of his 
peace was at the Yellow Jacket Mine, hired 
a team at Connelly's stable, and employed 
Geo. Wolfe to drive him there. Alighting, 
he knocked at the door, and enquired if 
Major Harry Larkyns was in.The gentleman 
that answered the call informed him that 
he was, and invited him in; he very politely 
and calmly refused, saying he wished to see 
the Major only a moment on the outside. 
The Major, who at the time was engaged in 
a game of cribbage with a lady, answered 
the summons. As he opened the door and 
looked out into the dark, he called out: 
"Who is it? I can't see you." Mr. 
Muybridge says "Good evening. Major; my 
name is Muybridge, and here is the answer 
to the letter you sent my wife," and fired 
at the breast of Larkyns. The Major 
staggered back, and ran through the 
kitchen and sitting room, and out the front 
door, and fell close to a large oak tree. Mr. 
Stacy and others carred him in the house 
and laid him on a bed, where he breathed 
his last in about one minute and a half. 
After firing, Muybridge followed closely, 
but was at once covered by a pistol in the 
hands of J.M. McArthur, and 

surrendered though making no attempt 

to escape and was brought to Calistoga 

immediately and given into the hands of 
Constable Geo. B. Crumwell. We are 
informed that there was talk of lynching 
Muybridge at the time of the shooting, but 
through the influence of Mr. Stuart this act 
of violence was not put into effect. 

The remains of Major Larkyns were 
brought to Calistoga Sunday morning, and 
thence conveyed to San Francisco, in the 
afternoon for interment. On Monday 
Muybridge was brought before Justice 
Palmer of this place, but waiving an 
examination, was taken to Napa, and there 
confined in the county jail, to await the 
action of the grand jury. 

The deceased was a native of Scotland, 
and aged 39 years the day of his death. Mr. 
Muybridge is about 47 years of age 
[Muybridge was 44], and a native of 

We had a conversation with Muybridge 
while here, and found him very calm and 
collected, and apparently feeling entirely 
justifiable in the killing of Larkyns, and we 
are informed that since his incarceration at 
Napa, he still retains his composure. He 
says it was not his intention to kill the 
Major, but to maim him for life. Hon. W.W. 
Pendegast, of Napa, and C.H. King, of San 
Francisco, have been retained as his 
council, and we hear that they will soon 
make application for his release on bail. 

C. The Marey/Muybridge Letters 

Gaston Tissandier, editor of La Nature, 
wrote the following introduction to 
Marey's letter, which appeared in 
"Correspondence," La Nature, No. 291, 28 
December 1878. 8 

On the Photographic Reproduction of the 
Horse's Gait: 

The documents which we published on 
this subject in one of our recent 

installments (No. 289, 14 December, 1878, 
p. 23) have been appreciated by a large 
number of our readers. Many readers have 
requested samples of Mr. Muybridge 's 
photographs from the address which we 
published on page 23, column 2 [given in 
Muybridge letter below]. We forwarded 
the following letter to Mr. Muybridge 
received by us from Mr. Marey, of the 
Institute, and we hope that the skilled 
physicist from San Francisco will respond 
completely to the interesting questions 
which are put to him by our learned 

Marey to Tissandier, 18 December 1878 

Dear Friend, 

I am impressed with Mr. Muybridge 's 
photographs published in the issue before 
last of La Nature. Could you put me in 
touch with the author? I would like his 
assistance in the solution of certain 
problems of physiology too difficult to 
resolve by other methods. For instance, on 
the question of birds in flight, I have 
devised a gun-like kind of photography 
["fusil photographique" ] for seizing the 
bird in an attitude, or better, in a series of 
attitudes which impart the successive 
phases of the wing's movement. Cailletet 9 
told me he had tried something analogous 
in the past with encouraging results. It 
would clearly be an easy experiment for 
Mr. Muybridge. Then what beautiful 
zoetropes he could make. One could see all 
imaginable animals during their true 
movements; it would be animated zoology. 
So far as artists are concerned, it would 
create revolution for them, since one could 
furnish them with true attitudes of 
movement; positions of the body during 
unstable balances in which a model would 
find it impossible to pose. 

As you see, my dear friend, my 
enthusiasm is overflowing; please respond 
quickly. I'm behind you all the way. 
J. Marey 


Muy bridge to Tissandier, 17 February 1879 
(from La Nature, No. 303, 22 March 1879) 

Dear Sir, 

I read with keen interest Professor 
Marey's letter to you (see La Nature, No. 
291, 28 December 1878 p. 54) in reference 
to my photographs depicting the 
movements of the horse (see La Nature, 14 
December 1878 No. 289, p. 23) which you 
honored me by reproducing in your 
prestigious journal. Your laudatory 
remarks about them gave me great 
pleasure. Would you be so kind as to 
communicate the assurance of my high 
esteem to Professor Marey and tell him 
that his celebrated work on animal 
movement first inspired Governor Stanford 
with the idea of the possibility of resolving 
the problem of locomotion with the help 
of photography. Mr. Stanford consulted 
me about this and, at his request, I resolved 
to assist him in his task. He charged me 
with following a series of more complete 
experiments. For this purpose we 
constructed 30 dark rooms with electric 
shutters which, in order to photograph 
horses, would be placed approximately 12 
inches from one another. We began our 
experiments the next May [1878] and we 
intended to fix all the imaginable postures 
of athletes, horses, oxen, dogs and other 
animals in movement. In the beginning we 
didn't study birds in flight but Professor 
Marey, having suggested this idea to us, 
also [directed our experiments towards 
this.] Consequently, we modified our 
automatic arrangements and we made our 
successive attempts at intervals of regular 
time by means of a clock which we had 
constructed for this purpose. 

I am afraid of encountering many more 
difficulties in obtaining satisfactory results 
with birds in flight than with other 
animals, but we will set about it as best we 

I would be very grateful to all breeders 
of racehorses in France or England if they 
could confirm our experiments by 
conducting other experiments. My agent, 
Mr. Brandon, Rue Laffitte, No. 1, in Paris, 

would be pleased to furnish them with all 
the necessary information about 
construction and handling of the 
equipment. Without a doubt our method 
would be improved considerably if scholars 
as distinguished as Mr. Marey would lend 
their attention to it. 

I am sending Mr. Brandon, by this post, 
two collections of all the photographs 
made to this date on the subject in 
question; it would please me if you would 
accept one and I would be obliged to you 
if you would persuade Mr. Marey to accept 
the other with my compliments. 
Your devoted, Muybridge 

D. Fairman Rogers Comments 1879 

The following article by Fairman Rogers, 
horseman, wealthy patron of the arts and 
Director of the Philadelphia Academy, 
appeared in The Art Interchange, 9 July 
1879. (Kingston Scrapbook, p. 55) 

THE ZOOTROPE. Action of Animals in 

Motion The Muybridge Photographs of 

Horses The Instrument as a Factor in 

Art Studies. 

When Mr. Edward Muybridge, of San 
Francisco, assisted by Governor Stanford, 
made in the spring of 1878, his first 
photographs of the horse in motion, it 
became evident to those who had been 
previously engaged in studying the subject 
of the locomotion of animals that they had 
never before had any such material for 
their investigations as that which he then 

His process, briefly, consists in having a 
number of photographic cameras on a 
proper support near the level of the 
ground, at equal distances, say 
twenty-seven inches apart. Opposite to the 
cameras and parallel to the line in which 
they stand, is a white screen or fence with 
vertical lines also twenty-seven inches 
apart, drawn on its surface, one directly 

opposite to each camera. A wire, with 
proper electrical connections, leads from 
each line to the corresponding camera. The 
animal whose motion is to be 
photographed, is driven or ridden on a line 
parallel to the screen in front of the 
cameras, and as he crosses each wire, the 
slide of the camera corresponding to that 
wire is opened, and a photograph of the 
animal in that position is obtained. In the 
experiments on a horse at racing speed, for 
example, the animal covers about 
twenty-two feet in each stride, ten 
cameras, therefore, twenty-seven inches 
apart, would record ten different portions 
of one stride or step. The photographs thus 
produced show the successive positions, 
the transitions from one to the other of 
which are altogether too rapid to be 
appreciated by the eye. 

A number of investigators have 
attempted to analyse the action of man 
and of animals in the various gaits. The 
Weber brothers, as to man, 12 and Wachter, 
Raabe, Marey, and Lenoble de Teil, for 
horses. In fact, nearly all the writers on 
horsemanship have attempted to analyse 
the action of the horse, but with 
indifferent success. Marey's method was 
the most complete, but when his results are 
examined by the light of Muybridge's 
photographs, they are found to be quite 

Shortly after the appearance of the 
photographs, Mr. Thomas Eakins of 
Philadelphia, Instructor in the Pennsylvania 
Academy of the Fine Arts, who had long 
been studying the horse from an artistic 
point of view, and whose accurate 
anatomical knowledge fitted him especially 
for the investigation, took them up for 
examination. Wachter, in 1862, had 
published a set of ten drawings illustrating 
the gallop, the most complicated of the 
gaits, which he arranged to be used in what 
was then called the phenakisticope [sic], 
an instrument which we now know in its 
improved American form under the name 
of Zootrope, and his analysis was so 
nearly correct that the horse galloped quite 
satisfactorily when looked at in the 


"SALLIE GARDNER," owned by LELAND STANFORD; running at a 1.40 gait over the Palo Alto track, 19th June, 1878. 

Diagram of Foot Movements. 

Figure 11. 

Right hind foot. Left hind foot. 
Vertical lines 27 inches apart. Total length of stride, 265 inches. 

Left fore foot. 
Copyrighted 1879, by Muybiudge. 

The above diagram is projected from a series of electro-photographs, executed by instructions 
of GovBBSOB Stanford, and illustrates the course traversed by the feet of the mare Sallie 
GaiiiiSi.k during a single complete stride. 

The mare being thorough bred, one of the fastest runners on the coast, and noted for her 
graceful form and superb gait, the successive positions assumed by her during the stride, may be 
accepted as representative in their character. 

During certain portions of this stride, the feet of the mare were moving with a velocity equiva- 
lent to more than 11X1 lineal feet in a second of time, or nearly three-fourths of an inch, during 
an exposure of the two-thousandth part of a second. To enhance the usefulness of the photo- 

Eight fore foot. 

Left fore foot. 

graphs, the indistinctness of their outline resulting from this rapid motion, has been corrected, 
with care to preserve their actual positions. Photographs from the original untouched negatives 
are curious for comparison, and can be obtained at the same rate, if required. Hereafter the 
exposures will be reduced to thetive thousandth part of a second, thus limiting any movement 
to one-t'outh of au inch. 

In future experiments it will be interesting to observe, to what extent, a knowledge of the 
foot movements of a colt, as illustrated by electro-photography, can be availed of to determine 
his probable speed at a more advanced age. 

Thomas Eakins (?), diagrammatic analysis of the stride 

apparatus. His ingenious drawings hardly 
received the notice which they merited, 
and he seems to have been extremely 
modest in his own appreciation of their 
value. The writer, familiar with the work 
which had been done in this direction, saw 
immediately that the zootrope would be a 
useful instrument in enabling the 
experimenter to determine whether the 
photographic analysis was correct, and 
constructed a large metal zootrope, with 
various appliances, for making it a 
scientific instrument. The idea was of 
course a very natural one, and had already 
occurred to Gov. Stanford and Mr. 
Muybridge, who had independently done 
the same thing. 14 The photographs 
themselves are not exactly adapted for 
immediate use in the zootrope. They are 

too small, and most of them show no 
interior modeling, but are mere silhouettes, 
in which the near and off legs cannot be 
readily distinguished from each other. In 
some of them, the running horse, for 
example, the intervals are not equal, owing 
to a pecularity of the photographic 
apparatus, an explanation of which would 
be too long for the limits of this article, in 
others the twenty-seven inches is not an 
aliquot part of the length of a whole stride. 
To obtain a perfectly satisfactory result, 
drawings must be made based upon the 
information given by the photographs. 

To do this, Mr. Eakins plotted carefully, 
with due attention to all the conditions of 
the problem, the successive positions of the 
photographs and constructed, most 
ingeniously, the trajectories, or paths, of a 

number of points of the animal, such as 
each foot, the elbow, hock, centre of 
gravity, cantle of the sadlle, point of cap of 
the rider, & c. Having these paths, and 
marking the beginning of the stride and the 
exact point at the other end of the diagram 
where the beginning of the next stride 
occurs, the whole stride can be divided into 
an exactly equal number of parts; twelve 
has been selected as a convenient number, 
and the exact position of each point of the 
body determined for each of the twelve 

■.■ 15 


Although [sic] familiarity with the 
anatomical construction of the animal 
enables the artist thus to draw each of the 
twelve positions or attitudes, and when the 
figures thus made are put into the 
zootrope, a perfect representation of the 


motion is obtained. By varying the number 
of the slots, through which the drawings 
are seen, the animal can be made to move 
forward or to remain in one place, as he 
would appear if the spectator were to ride 
or drive alongside of him at the same rate 
of speed. The relation of the action to the 
distance passed over in each stride can be 
regulated with accuracy. The motion is 
exceedingly smooth, and such things as the 
waving of the tail or the mane are shown in 
the most natural manner. It is of course 
possible to reduce to the slowest speed, for 
the purpose of study, the action of the 
horse at his top speed, which is so rapid 
that the eye fails to catch the details of it 
in nature. 

An addition to the zootrope is now 
being made by which, at the moment at 
which each foot appears to the eye to 
strike the ground, a sharp tap of a small 
hammer will be made by the instrument, 
and the cadence of the step will be made 
manifest to the ear, and will aid materially 
in the study of the motion. 16 

It is obvious that while the photographs 
and the drawings made from them are the 
analysis of the motion, the combination of 
them in the zootrope is the synthesis, and 
is a complete test of the accuracy of the 
analysis. Mr. Muy bridge intends to 
continue his experiments, and will 
accumulate a mass of information which 
will be of the utmost value. At the 
suggestion of Mr. Marey, whose 
investigations in the same line, with 
entirely different means, have been very 
important, he will probably make 
corresponding photographs of the flight of 

The value of these investigations to the 
artist is very great. It is certain that nearly 
all the attempts to represent the gaits of 
either animals or men, in painting, are 
extremely unsatisfactory, and it is only by 
thoroughly understanding the mechanism 
of the motion, that the artist will be able 
to portray it in any satisfactory manner. A 
glance at the Muybridge photographs of 
the running horse shows that the postion 
of the legs, which is usually accepted as 

representing a full run, as drawn by the 
best painters of horse subjects, is not only 
incomplete, but absolutely incorrect, and 
must be universally so recognized as soon 
as correct information is obtained by those 
who criticize such works. There are many 
interesting speculations as to how this 
new information may be utilized by the 
painter, for which we have not space at 
present, but Mr. Muybridge deserves the 
thanks of all artists for the valuable 
addition that he has made to the general 
fund of knowledge. 

E. Muybridge: "Leland Stanford's Gift. 

From documents now in the Collis P. 
Huntington Collection of the George 
Arents Research Library, Syracuse 
University, we learn that Muybridge was 
the author of an article on the history of 
the Stanford/ Muybridge experiments 
which appeared in the San Francisco 
Examiner, Sunday, 6 February 1881. 
According to the deposition of Frank 
Shay, then 27, private secretary to Leland 
Stanford from April 1878 until June 1882, 
Muybridge brought the manuscript of the 
article, in his own handwriting to him, and 
Shay made "a few verbal changes, " but the 
article as published was "substantially" 
that which he had seen in manuscript. 
(Deposition of Frank Shay, in Stanford vs. 
Muybridge, San Francisco, 27 July 1883, 
pp. 38-39.) Dr. Stillman, then 65, in his 
deposition, compares the printed article to 
one brought to him by Muybridge in 
response to his request for a history of the 

experiments one which he found 

"ungrammatical, redundant, full of 
hyperbole, which would make the whole 
thing ridiculous just like that newspaper 
article published in the Examiner; just the 
same kind of stuff" Instead of 
publishing Muybridge's article as an 
introduction to his The Horse in Motion, 
as had evidently initially been suggested, 
Stillman relegated it to the appendix of the 

book, and at that used it only as a 
"technical" text for his own version of it. 
(Deposition of J.D.B. Stillman, in Stanford 
vs. Muybridge, 7 August 1883, pp. 6-11.) 
Muybridge's history of the experiments at 
Palo Alto is printed below as given, 
without correction of the spellings, in the 
Examiner for 6 February 1881. The article 
was read into the court records as 
"Defendant's Exhibit H," and was always 
wrongly dated in these records as being 
published on 6 February 1880. 


Leland Stanford's Gift to Art 

and to Science 

Mr. Muybridge's Inventions of 

Instant Photography and the 

Marvelous Zo'ogyroscope 

The results of Mr. Muybridge's years of 
efforts to perfectly photograph animals of 
all kinds, man included, while in 
continuous and in the most rapid motion, 
may now be said to be fully and most 
satisfactorily complete, as is also his 

zoogyroscope his marvelous invention 

for putting his pictures again in motion, 
and an invention which was evolved by the 
necessities of the result he had determined 
to achieve and has achieved. Mr. Muybridge 
came to California in 1855, and most of 
the time since and all of the time since 
1860 he has been diligently, and at the 
same time studiously, engaged in 
photography. For several years after 1860 
Mr. Muybridge made a specialty of 
landscape photography, and it is through 
his innumerable photographs, both in large 
pictures and in stereoscopic sets, that a 
realizing sense of the wonders of California 
scenery has been effected abroad. Mr. 
Muybridge's acknowledged precedence in 
this department of the art caused his 
appointment as the official photographer 
of the United States Government, and as 


such he visited all parts of the Pacific coast 
line, photographing the light-houses along 
it from San Diego to Cape Flattery, and 
incidentally photographing also all the 
intervening coast scenery. Also as such 
Government photographer Mr. Muybridge 
was dispatched to the front during the 
Modoc war, and the wide spread and 
accurate knowledge of the topography of 
the memorable Lava Beds and the country 
round-about, and of the personnel of the 
few Indians who, with the bravery at least 
of the classic three hundred, defied and 
fought the army of the Union, is due 
chiefly to the innumerable and 


Taken by him. In fact, in a swiftly 
progressive art each day making such rapid 
strides onward, and each stride more 
startling than the original discovery of the 
process that it was good work for the 
average photographer to keep even abreast 
of his art, Mr. Muybridge had obtained 
such undisputed pre-eminence that it was 
to him that Mr. Stanford appealed in June, 
187 2, when the latter had finally 
determined to essay a very remarkable 
discovery. Mr. Stanford had never been 
technically a painter, but he had always 
been one of those for whom technical 

painters paint one of those to whom the 

artist whether in delineative or in word, 
painting merely gives back his own 
unconscious sentiments. He was also 
always a lover of horses as well as of 
pictures. When Mr. Stanford had been in 
the eternal fitness of things rewarded with 
fabulous wealth for the splendid and 
romantic daring that had built a railroad 
across deserts, then almost untracked, 
across two of the mighty mountain ranges 
of the world, across a lonely land that 
echoed only to the dull thunder of the 
tramp of the buffalo herds or the crack of 
the trackman's rifle repelling the attack of 

the savage red man a railroad that 

forever united the civilized world with its 
dauntless vanguard on the Pacific slope and 
that put San Francisco on the beaten 
highway of the nations then Mr. 

Stanford was enabled to gratify both his 
love of art and horses. Of this has come a 
result probably more important to art than 
any other of the century. Mr. Stanford 
purchased many fast horses; he purchased 
many valuable pictures; he bought the 
most elaborated works of the 
Authoritatively analyzing, among other 
things, the motion of animals; and he 
became the generous patron and the valued 
friend of the eminent artists, not alone of 
his own State and nation, but of Europe. 
The first, and perhaps curious result of 
alternately watching the speeding of his 
flyers of the turf and of reading works 
descriptive of the paces of the horse and 
looking upon pictures of the horse at 
speed, was that he concluded there was a 
diametric difference of opinion as to such 
movements between the horse himself and 
the horse's delineators of either science or 
art. And he took sides with the horse. 
Assuming that Mr. Stanford adopted the 
correct opinion, that opinion might be 
determined to be only an attestation of the 
exceptional keeness of Mr. Stanford's 
eyesight. But when it is remembered that 
for thousands of years no eye had been 
sufficiently keen to detect the true 
movements of the horse in action; when it 
is remembered that from the first known 
representation of the horse in motion, and 
found in the mural decorations of the 
Egypt of the past, down to the last 
approved picture of the same, and which is 
that of "The Derby" by Herring, admitted 
to be almost the peer of Landseer, all 
artists had represented the horse at speed 
as stretched out in the air like a kite or a 
flying squirrel; it will be admitted that the 
unaided eye-sight which could detect the 
error as old as the world itself, was itself a 
valuable possession. But when Mr. 
Stanford, in the course of his readings, 
came at page 161 in the recent and 
valuable work of Professor Marey, the great 
French savant, to the statement that "in the 
natural walking pace there are never more 
than two feet on the ground at a time," he 

would stand it no longer. 17 This was in 
1872, at which time Mr. Stanford was a 
resident of Sacramento. 18 He immediately 
telegraphed to Mr. Muybridge requesting 
the latter to visit him. This Mr. Muybridge 
did, when Mr. Stanford startled the 
photographer by stating that what Mr. 
Stanford desired was 

And taken while the horse was at full 
speed. No wonder even the skilled 
Government photographer was startled, for 
at that date the only attempts that had 
ever been made to photograph objects in 
motion had been made only in London and 
in Paris, only by the most conspicuous 
masters of the art, and only of the most 
practicable street scenes. And even in these 
scenes in which the photograph of no 
objects moving faster than the ordinary 
walk of a man had been attempted, and in 
which the legs had not been essayed at all, 
the objects were taken as they moved 
towards the camera, in which action, 
owing to the laws of perspective, the 
continuous change of place was less 
noticeable. Occident was then admittedly 
the fastest trotter in the whole world, 
having recorded a mile in 2:16 3/4, which 
was faster one than even the skipping 
Goldsmith Maid had done. And the picture 
was required to be taken, not as the flyer 
should bear down on the camera, but as his 
driver should shoot him at fullest speed 
past the lens 19 Mr. Muybridge therefore 
plainly told Mr. Stanford that such a thing 
had never been heard of; that photography 
had not yet arrived at any such wonderful 
perfection as would enable it to depict a 
trotting horse at speed. The firm, quiet 
man who had, over mountains and deserts 
and through the malignant jeers of the 
world, built the railroad declared 
impossible, simply said: "I think, if you 
give your attention to the subject, you will 
be able to do it, and I want you to try." So 
the photographer had nothing to do but 
"try." He thought over the matter, 
skillfully made all the then known 
combinations of chemistry and optics for 


taking an instant picture, made the trial, 
and succeeded in getting the first shadowy 
and indistinct picture of Occident at a trot. 


Was extremely unsatisfactory to the artist 
and he was therefore surprised when upon 
its exhibition to Mr. Stanford, and after 
that gentleman had long and intently 
scrutinized the foggy outlines of the legs, 
Mr. Stanford expressed unbounded 
satisfaction with it. No wonder. To him the 
hazy outlines were the sun's written 
confirmation of his theory that from the 
time of the first graven image to that of 
Rosa Bonheur there had never been the 
true representation of an animal in motion. 
With the picture itself, merely as a picture, 
Mr. Stanford was no more satisfied than 
was the artist, and the latter having agreed 
that he would concentrate his thoughts 
upon the evolution of some way in which 
photographs might be more rapidly taken, 
he went away. In July, 1877, Mr. 
Muybridge again went to Sacramento and 
there took another photograph of Occident 
at full speed on the Agricultural Park 
Track. That picture was a success that 
satisfied not only Mr. Stanford but Mr. 
Muybridge also. But it satisfied no person 
else. No picture that had ever been 
produced by any process had called up so 


And opprobrium. 20 Scientists ridiculed it, 
anatomists scoffed at it and old turfmen 
jeered at it and aggressively maintained the 
impossibility of a horse ever getting itself 
into the position represented. But the 
self-sustained Mr. Stanford had gone 
unscathed through a more malignant 
tempest of jeers than that, and had brought 
the scoffers to shame at last. Mr. Stanford 
looked at the picture. "That is nature," he 
said. "I am convinced; now I will convince 
others." The picture was a single one, 
taken with a single camera, and, 
necessarily, the horse was represented in 
only that one atom of time in which he 
was huried past the lens. It was an 

impossibility to devise any way in which a 
horse going at full speed should at one 
certain instant and at one prescribed point 
be in any predetermined part of his stride. 
But at Mr. Stanford's suggestion Mr. 
Muybridge at once went to Mr. Stanford's 
country residence at Palo Alto, and there 
arranged twelve cameras to take that many 
photographs of a horse passing at full speed 
over the private track of the Palo Alto 
estate. The twelve cameras were arranged 
in a line and so immediately succeeding 
each other as to take twelve different views 
of the horse while passing all twelve of the 
cameras at a single stride of his gait. 
Oft-repeated and painstaking experiments 
were made with walking, with trotting, 
with cantering and with running horses. 
Any one picture of any one of these series 
of twelve each of pictures was notably 
more perfect than the single picture 
obtained at Sacramento. These pictures 
were published, and instantly found their 
way all over the known world. Everywhere 
they created 


The least of such astonishment being 
created here, where Mr. Stanford, Mr. 
Muybridge and the horses were known, for 
there is some inexplicable and invarable 
rule concealed in the oft -quoted text of the 
Scriptures that "a prophet is not without 
honor save in his own country and among 
his own kindred." The pictures created 
something like consternation among the 
learned, the scientific, and the artistic 
societies of Europe. Copies of the series 
were published in the best illustrated 
papers of both America and Europe, 
including the Scientific American and the 
leading pictorials of Berlin, of Paris, of 
Vienna, and of London. The inestimable 
value of the revelations made by Mr. 
Muybridge 's photographs was commented 
on at length in the London Times, the 
Illustrated London News, he Nature of 
Paris, and other journals. Professor Marey, 
member of the French Academy, and 
author of the great work on Animal 
Mechanism, with the description of which 

of the walk of a horse, Mr. Stanford had 
taken issue, was not content with 
publishing in Le Nature the radical 
revolutions of his own views of animal 
mechanism effected by a view of these 
pictures, but he wrote Mr. Muybridge a 
letter couched in almost extravagant terms 
of compliment as to the value of the 
developments made by the process. As an 
instance of how far this astonishment at 
the new revelations extended, it may be 
stated that among the many letters from 
eminent men in all parts of the world, and 
received by Mr. Muybridge, was one 
written in very choice Siamese by His Most 
Gracious Majesty the King of Siam, and 
that Mr. Muybridge might have the 
pleasure of knowing what the King had 
said in his letter, the latter had very 
thoughtfully had 

Inclose under cover with the letter a 
translation of it into English. The King of 
Siam is himself, although an amateur 
photographer, still a skilled one, and his 
unstinted commendations were those of an 
expert as well as of a King. In front of 
windows of bookstores in London, in Paris 
and in New York, and in which the prints 
of the series were exposed, crowds would 
congregate to comment on the curious 
spectacle which had given to an animal so 
well known an absolutely new 
signification. A lady well known as a leader 
of San Francisco society was one day 
walking along Broadway, and was stopped 
by an eager crowd in front of a window 
near the Metropolitan Hotel. Her own 
curiosity being aroused, she commissioned 
her escort to push his way to a view of 
what attracted so much attention. He 
returned to her considerably rumpled and 
compressed and reported, "It's that queer 
picture of a horse taken by that 
iconoclastic photographer of your own 
city, and whose malign art has torn into 
tatters ten thousand prized paintings of 
horses that had hitherto been confidently 
supposed to be either trotting or galloping, 
but which this ruthless gentleman has 


proved to be either swimming or flying." 
Mr. Stanford himself was in Paris shortly 
after the publishing of the photographs, 
and was in the studio of his friend, the 
great artist Meissonier, who had himself 
seen the prints. "Sketch me here a horse 
trotting," said Mr. Stanford. Meissonier 
smiled, stepped to his easel, and with a few 
dextrous touches sketched a horse trotting, 
as all good artists have insisted upon his 
trotting, since the world began. 


And both he and Mr. Stanford for a 
moment contemplated the work. "Now," 
said Mr. Stanford, "make me a sketch of 
that same horse in that same stride when 
he shall have progressed twelve inches 
farther on." The artist looked at Mr. 
Stanford, stepped slowly and thoughtfully 
to the easel and with some hesitation made 
a second sketch. He stepped back, looked 
at it, rubbed it out, made another, stepped 
back and looked at that. Three times he 
repeated this operation. Then rubbing out 
the lines of the last essay he turned to Mr. 
Stanford and said simply, "I can't do it." 
And yet Meissonier many years ago drew 
the picture of a horse that would have 
irretrievably damned any other artist than 
himself and for which he was jeered by the 
critics without mercy. Meissonier 
maintained the position was correct and in 
1877 California sent to Paris the certificate 
of the sun that Meissonier had been 
correct, for one picture of the series 21 
represents a horse in very nearly the 
attitude represented by the greatest living 
painter. But as Mr. Stanford had been the 
only one to express satisfaction with the 
initial picture of 1872, so he was now the 
one, when everybody else said "success," 
to exact success far more complete. 
Therefore, he gave Mr. Muybridge carte 
blanche, with instruction to provide 
himself with entirely new electric and 
photographic apparatus the most perfect 
that could be made in the world, and 
arrange the Palo Alto track for the taking 
of a new and more perfect series of 
pictures. Mr. Muybridge then had new 

lenses made by the celebrated optician 
Dallemeyer of London. One hundred feet 
of the race track 


And in front of the camera was covered 
with India rubber. On one side of this track 
a commodious shed was erected for no less 
than twenty-four cameras. Opposite the 
shed, on the other side of the track, was 
erected a background, fifteen feet high, of 
white canvas, and which slanted away from 
the track at an angle of thirty degrees. In 
the shed, back of the camera, was a 
powerful electric battery. The twenty-four 
cameras were arranged in line, and in front 
of the lens of each was secured a stout, 
wooden shutter about twelve inches 
square, with slides secured in place by a 
spring, the release of which would cause 
them to be snapped past each other by 
powerful India-rubber bands. On the 
farther side of the surface of the track was 
secured two lines of wooden rails an inch 
in height and eighteen inches apart, and 
across these rails and twelve inches apart 
were stretched wires. Between these rails 
the driver steered a wheel of the sulky, and 
as the wheel passed over each wire an 
electric circle was completed which tripped 
the spring in the lens shutter, its slides were 
shot past each other, and in passing each 
other they exposed for a very razor-edge of 
time the photographic plate to the action 
of the intense light, and in that hairbreadth 
of time the photograph was secured 
forever. Instead of the wires, and in the 
case of ridden horses, the electric currents 
were completed by the contact of the 
breast of the passing horse with threads of 
silk, which had been stretched taut across 
the track at the proper height from the 
grounds and distances from each other. In 
what an inconceivable atom of time any 
one picture of this new series of 
twenty-four to the stride of a racehorse at 
his fullest speed was taken is a matter of 
calculation. The running 

Which when photographed, was going at the 

rate of one mile in 1 :40. This is at the rate 
of fifty-two feet per second. But this is the 
rate of the aggregate body and limbs of the 
horse. The feet, considered separately, 
travel not only as fast as the body of the 
horse, but are likewise alternately thrown 
forwards and backwards, and the result of 
a series of careful calculations is that the 
foot of the racehorse, during certain parts 
of the stride, travels more than two and a 
half times as fast as the body, or that the 
foot of the horse in this instance, during 
such times, was going at the rate of 130 
feet in a second at the time the picture was 
taken. All thoroughly-studied and 
experienced photographers can tell by the 
scrutiny of any photograph what change of 
position was made by the object 
photographed during the time of such 
photography. A comparison of the 
opinions passed upon the picture of "Sallie 
Gardiner" shows that her foot was 
photographed while it was moving only 
one-quarter of an inch. As 130 feet is to 
one-quarter of an inch, so is one second to 
the time in which the photograph was 
taken. This was the inconceivable portion 
of time that is less than the six thousandth 
part of a second. A recent reprint, in a San 
Francisco paper, of the achievement of a 
New York photographer who had secured a 
photograph in the one hundredth part of a 
second, must have been published as a 
mock compliment to an artist progressing 
backwards at such fearful strides. Artists 
abandon the legendary position of the 
horse only slowly. One reason is the 
difficulty Meissonier himself experienced 
of reasoning from one position of a horse 
known to be correct, to his position a 
second later, or seen from any other point. 
Mr. Muybridge, once in the studio of Mr. 
Perry watched with interest the artist 
endeavoring to outline the picture of 


He had Mr. Muybridge's pictures as a guide. 
But these were broad side views, and he 
wanted a quartering view. Mr. Muybridge 
hastened back to Palo Alto, arranged five 
cameras in a semi-circle and concentrating 


upon one point, galloped a horse over the 
point where the electric current was 
completed and produced a perfect picture 
of a horse at fullest speed, as seen from five 
different points of view all at the same 
instant of time and while, of course, the 
horse was in one and the same position. 23 
Now an artist with these pictures as guides 
can draw a horse in any position desired. 
Mr. Stanford was now just half satisfied. 
He had the picture of animals going at the 
rate of a mile in 1:40 and at any six 
thousandth part of a second of the gait 
that he might select to view them at. Now 
he bade the artist to put the pictures 
themselves in motion. Again the artist 
urged that science had found no way of 
doing such a thing. It was of no avail, and 
for two years and a half the railroad 
builder and the photographer toiled with a 

child's toy the zootrope as the initial 

point, and finally emerged with the 
zoogyroscope, signifying generally animals 
in motion. 24 A disc of zinc about eighteen 
inches in diameter has slots radiating 
around its outer verge. On the outer verge 
of a similarly-sized disc of glass are the 
silhouettes of any one series of the 
photographs. 25 The discs are placed on the 
pivot of a delicately-constructed machine, 
which revolves them in opposite directions. 
A very perfect magic lantern, constructed 
for the purpose, casts the pictures the size 
of life on a prepared screen and across 
which the horses walk or trot, canter or 
gallop, even as they do in life. This device 
may be said to be already perfect. By it 
wisdom was at last justified of her 
children. There across the canvas trots or 
gallops forever 


Even as in life he is seen on the fiercely 
contested track. Into the surprising 
attitudes of the horse in the photographs is 
at last breathed the breath of life, and the 
scoffs and the jeers do not cease, indeed, 
but they have found other victims, and the 
bas reliefs of the Egyptians and the 
"spirited picture" of the Derby by Herring; 
even the lauded canvases of Rosa Bonheur 

are found to have no more truth to nature 
and consequently no more real artistic 
value than if they had all been 
representations of the mythical Unicorn. 
The exactness with which the motion is 
reproduced may be inferred by the 
following: When Mr. Muybridge had 
achieved success with the zoogyroscope he 
had one series of photographs done in 
silhouette on the outer rim of one glass 
disc, and with the apparatus hastened to 
Palo Alto to show the result to Mr. 
Stanford. Across the great screen again and 
again galloped at full speed a 
delicate-limbed race mare. Mr. Stanford 
looked at it. "That is Phryne Lewis," said 
Mr. Muybridge. "You are mistaken," said 
Mr. Stanford; "I know the gait too well. 
That is Florence Anderson." The artist was 
certain it was Phryne Lewis. Mr. Stanford 
was equally certain it was Florence 
Anderson, and it was only after 
investigation and the discovery that by a 
misunderstanding it was the pictures of 
Florence Anderson that had been done in 
silhouette that the artist was convinced of 
his error. The series of pictures taken are 
perfect and numerous, and include those of 
athletes running, wrestling and turning 
somersaults, as well as of 


Imported from New York and carefully 
photographed in each of the positions of a 
horse in trotting. 26 The zoogryoscope is 
complete in every detail. The three magic 
lanterns are the most perfect that can be 
made. The series of discs already prepared 
are thirty, and include representations of 
all kinds of motions of horses, horned 
cattle and men. In Europe, far more than 
even in America, the desire of the artists 
and the scientific to see these illustrations 
is intense. Under these circumstances, the 
rumor that Mr. Stanford and Mr. 
Muybridge will some time in the near 
future take the pictures to Europe, there to 
exhibit them in acceptance of urgent 
entreaties so to do, appears to have a 
probability of truth. The inestimable value 
of the joint labors of Mr. Stanford and Mr. 

Muybridge to the scientist in the 
demonstration of animal movements and 
their still greater value to artists in 
elevating the portraiture of life in motion 
into an entirely new plane, sustains the 
hope that the completed works will soon 
be put on exhibition. The circumstances 
must have been exceptionally felicitous 
that made co-laborateurs of the man that 
no practical impediment could balk, and of 
the artist who, to keep pace with the 
demands of the railroad builder hurried his 
art to a marvel of perfection that it is fair 
to believe it would not else have reached in 
another century. 

F: Stanford vs. Muybridge 

Muybridge to Frank Shay, Paris, 28 
November 1881 ("Address American 
Exchange, 449 Strand, London ") 

Dear Mr. Shay. 

You have probably been informed at 
the time of writing this, that the Governor 
and Mrs. Stanford left Paris on Saturday, 
with the intention of sailing from 
Liverpool 1st Deer. I saw them off on the 
cars, and much regret the state of the Govs, 
health left so much to be desired; however, 
for the last week he has been rapidly 
improving, and we have every hope he will 
have a comfortable voyage, and land in 
New York, if not entirely well, at least 
with every prospect of immediate 
restoration. His residence in Paris has been 
entirely devoid of pleasure, both to himself 
and Mrs. Stanford, but if the C.P. and S.P. 
can spare him, I believe he proposes to 
return next spring; by that time I shall 
hope to be in full operation, experimenting 
with new subjects, that will practically 
exhaust the scope of the investigations. 
Whether these will take place in France or 
England is yet in the hidden arcana of the 


I have happily obtained a recognition 
among the artists and scientists of Paris 
which is extremely gratifying, and were 
honor all that I am seeking, I need have no 
apprehension. I sent you a paper with an 
account of my reception at an 
entertainment at the residence of Professor 
Marey, who occupies the chair of natural 
history at the "Institut;" with this I 
forward a notice of a reception at the 
residence of Meissonier to whom the Gov. 
paid $10,000 for a portrait of size about 
10 x 12 inches. 28 Many of the most 
eminent men in art and science and letters 
in Europe were present at the exhibition; 
and men like Dumas, Gerome and Millet 
requested the pleasure of an introduction 
to me. Happily I have strong nerves, or I 
should have blushed with the lavishness of 
their praises. You will probably read some 
other notices which will be copied from 
other French and English papers. 

I am not unmindful of your promise to 
do me any little favor. I might during my 
absence ask of you, and I will now ask you 
to devote about a half hour of your 
valuable time. 

I shall shortly visit England for the 
purpose of inducing some wealthy 
gentlemen (to whom I have letters of 
introduction) to provide the necessary 
funds for pursuing and indeed completing 
the investigations of animal motion; and in 
framing an estimate of the probable cost, 
can have no better basis than the cost of 
the work already accomplished. 

Will you therefore at your very earliest 
convenience favor me with the total 
amount of money paid to me, or on my 
account; segregated if convenient under the 
following headings. 

1. Cash paid for apparatus and material 
which will include amts. paid me by you 
when the Gov. was sick. 

2. Cash paid to Muybridge for personal use 
not including the $2000 the Gov. gave me. 

3. Cash paid for wages of assistants. 

4. Estimated cost of buildings and making 
the track at Palo Alto. 

This will be valuable to me for laying 
before these gentlemen the actual cost of 
work already done and I have no doubt 
you will be kind enough to furnish me with 
the particulars. I am writing this with the 
pen you gave me, I think the slight 
irregularities you may observe, may be 
attributed to the "Mackinnon ink" which 
is falsely stated to "flow freely." 

I have not written to Gov. S. before, 
because I had accomplished nothing; I have 
been waiting the disposition of the 
Governor 29 since the 1st Octr. ; not 
absolutely idle for I have been collecting 
materials for a work upon the attitudes of 
animals in motion as illustrated by the 
Assyrians, Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, and 
the great masters of modern times. Will 
you please kindly remember me to Mrs. 
Shay, Mr. Taine to whom please say I will 
take the earliest opportunity of writing. 
Mr. Lathrop; Capt. Smith; Mr. Severann, 
and others too numerous to mention. 
Yours Faithfully, Muybridge 
Please don't delay sending statement. 

Muybridge to Frank Shay, Paris, 23 
December 1881 ("Hotel de Hie de France, 
26 Rue St. Augustin") 30 

Dear Mr. Shay : 

On the 28 Nov last I wrote requesting 
the favor of your furnishing me with a 
statement arranged under the separate 
heading of "Wages to operatives," 
"Advances to me personally," and 
"Material" of the cost of the experiments 
at Palo Alto. 

This statement I wished to place before 
some gentlemen, in my application to them 
for providing the means for another series 
of investigations into the attitudes of 
animals in motion. With that courtesy 
which you have invariably exhibited in 
your intercourse with me I have no doubt 
you have furnished me with all the 

I suggested addressing your reply to 
London, but since then some very 
important events have transpired which 
will render an extended residence in Paris 
necessary; and at the same time relieve me 
of the anxiety under which, as you well 
know, I have for a long time been existing. 

Some time ago I [presented] you a 
paper with an account of my reception 
among the scientists at the residence of 
Professor Marey; and later one with an 
account of an exhibition at the studio of 
M. Meissonier. 

M. Meissonier exhibits the greatest 
interest in the work, and through his 
commanding influence I have obtained a 
recognition here which is extremely 
gratifying and advantageous. 

Notwithstanding the large prices 
obtained for his pictures, unfortunately M. 
Meissonier is far from rich; but his 
influence with wealthy people is immense; 
and one of his friends has expressed a 
desire to associate himself with M. 
Meissonier, Professor Marey and myself in 
the instituting of a new series of 
investigations which I intend shall throw all 
those executed at Palo Alto altogether in 
the shade. I have been experimenting a 
great deal and have no doubt of its 
successful accomplishment. 

You know that upon the completion of 
the work at Palo Alto, after so 
embarrassing [six] a time, 31 I hoped to be in 
a position to devote my attention to the 
development of the ideas which have 
created so great a sensation, and been 
received with so much warmth in Paris. 
This was my intention; and I am happy to 
say, thanks to the friendship of M. 
Meissonier there is now an opportunity of 
its realization. 

Using the photographs I propose to 
make next year as his text, M. Meissonier 
intends to edit and publish a book upon 
the attitudes of animals in motion as 
illustrated by both ancient and modern 
artists. He proposes it shall be a most 
elaborate work, and exhaustive of the 
subject. It is to be the joint production of 
Meissonier, Professor Marey, "the 


capitalist," and myself, and be a standard 
work on art which as Meissonier says will 
hand the names of all four of us down to 

Both he and I considered it appropriate 
to invite the Governor to join us if he is so 
disposed, which we have done by letters, 
we shall be pleased to welcome him if he is 
inclined to come in, if he declines we will 
avail ourselves of the desire of M. 


Meissonier's friend. 

One of the conditions of the agreement 
is, that Meissonier is to have control of the 
results, and that I shall assign to him my 
present American and European copyrights 
and also those I make next season. In 
consideration of which I shall receive 
payment for the times I was working in 
connection with their production, and at 
my ordinary rate of payment for work in 
California, this will of course be quite a 
sum. M. Meissonier himself is not 

actuated by any selfish motives, neither do 
I suppose is his friend (who the "friend" is 
I do not know) for he assures me he is very 
rich; but I really believe and so does M. 
Meissonier it will be an investment that will 
pay for itself, and very probably a 
profitable one. 

I have had several other propositions 
made me, among others one from Goupil, 
the fine art publisher, and perhaps I might 
make more money if I treat with each 
country separately but I am desirous of 
being free from any financial management 
or operations, and devote my time 
unreservedly to work. 

I hope your mine has turned out 
enough rich paying ore to satisfy the 
reasonable requirements of any moderate 
man, and that its results will enable you to 
retire from speculation, and seek 
enjoyment for a time in Europe; and if in 
the course of your travels you should next 
summer find yourself in Paris; make me a 
visit to my Electro-Photo studio in the Bois 
de Boulogne and I will give you a welcome. 
Respects of the kindest description to Mrs. 

Yours Faithfully, Muybridge 

Muy bridge to J.D.B. Stillman, 7 March 
1882 ("American Exchange, 449 Strand, 

Dear Doctor: 

When I last wrote you a few months 
ago, I offered to assist you in the 
production of the work on the theory of 
animal movements. I have become 
possessed of a great deal of information on 
the subject which I am willing to place at 
your disposal to work up for our joint 
benefit. It was contemplated at one time to 
make use of my photographs for 
illustration, but having heard nothing 
further in relation to it, and from 
conversation with Mr. Stanford last Fall I 
suppose the idea of making arrangements 
for pictorial illustration has been 
abandoned. In December last, Mr. 
Meissonier and I wrote to Mr. Stanford 
that we in association with Professor Marey 
contemplated the publication of a very 
elaborate illustrated work on the attitudes 
of animals in motion and the prosecution 
of new investigations into the subject one 
of the conditions being that Mr. Meissonier 
should acquire control of the copyrights. 
As I had all the time been under the 
impression Mr. Stanford would like to 
acquire the copyrights of the photographs, 
if not for Europe, at least for America, we 
deemed it the correct thing to write him to 
join us in preference to making other 
arrangements, but to neither of our letters 
have we been favored with a reply. 

You are I suppose still writting [sic] 
away: you perhaps recollect what I 
originally told you about the time it would 
take; and, if you succeed in getting the 
work in the market before 1883 I shall 
consider you very fortunate. Who have you 
arranged with to publish it? 

I am in England at the invitation of the 
Royal Institution. Drs. Tyndall, Huxley, 
Bowman, Carpenter, Crookes, and a 
number of other eminent men have taken a 
great interest in my photographs, and last 
evening we had a rehearsal in the lecture 
room of the institution preparatory to an 
exhibition before the members on Monday 

night when we shall have a very brilliant 
audience. Sir Fredk. Leighton, president of 
the Royal Academy was present last 
evening and after it was over he expressed 
himself anxious to arrange for an 
exhibition before the members of the 
Academy, and I meet a number of R.A. 's 
this evening at the house of Alma-Tadema 
to talk the matter over. I have had a very 
agreeable interview with Lord Roseberry 
and quite a number other distinguished and 
wealthy men. I anticipate no difficulty in 
pursuing the investigation on a large and 
more comprehensive scale than has yet 
been done and to an exhaustive conclusion, 
(and I think it probable my anxiety, and 
financial embarrassment, now of some 
years duration, is over). I suggested waiting 
the publication of any theories founded on 
my work, until this was done as I was 
anxious all criticism should await the 
completion of the new experiments. I am 
promised every facility for work in Paris, 
but whether I shall commence there or in 
England I have not yet fully determined. 
The Prince of Wales takes a great interest in 
the matter and I am promised an 
introduction to him on Monday. Hoping 
you are in your usual robust health, I am 
Yours Faithfully, Muybridge 


Stilli7ian's Book Reaches London (from 
Nature, 20 April 1882 f^ 


We have received from Messrs. Trubner 
and Co. a handsome and richly illustrated 
quarto, "The Horse in Motion, as shown by 
Instantaneous Photography, with a Study 
in Animal Mechanics, founded on 
Anatomy and the Revelations of the 
Camera, in which is demonstrated the 
Theory of Quadrupedal Motion," by J.D.B. 
Stillman, A.M., M.D. The investigations are 
executed and published under the auspices 
of Mr. Leland Stanford, of Palo Alto Farm, 
California. We hope shortly to notice this 
work at some length, and meanwhile make 
the following extract from Mr. Leland 
Stanford's preface, which shows the exact 
part taken by each of those concerned in 


the investigation: "I have for a long time 

entertained the opinion that the accepted 
theory of the relative positions of the feet 
of horses in rapid motion was erroneous. I 
also believed that the camera could be 
utilized to demonstrate that fact, and, by 
instantaneous pictures, show the actual 
position of the limbs at each instant of the 
stride; under this conviction I employed 
Mr. Muybridge, a very skillful 
photographer, to institute a series of 
experiments to that end. . . . When these 
experiments were made, it was not 
contemplated to publish the results; the 
the facts revealed seemed so important, 
that I determined to have a careful analysis 
made of them. For this purpose it was 
necessary to review the whole subject of 
the locomotive machinery of the horse. I 
employed Dr. J.D.B. Stillman, whom I 
believed to be capable of the undertaking. 
The result has been, that much instructive 
information on the mechanism of the horse 
has been revealed, which is believed to be 
new, and of sufficient importance to be 
preserved and published." 

Muybridge Responds (Nature, 27 April 

In Nature, vol. xxv. p. 591, you notice 
the publication of a work entitled "The 
Horse in Motion," by Dr. Stillman, and 
remark: "the following extract from Mr. 
Stanford's preface shows the exact part 
taken by each of those concerned in the 
investigations." Will you permit me to say, 
if the subsequently quoted "extract" from 
Mr. Stanford's preface is suffered to pass 
uncontradicted, it will do me a great 
injustice and irreparable injury. At the 
suggestion of a gentlemen, now residing in 
San Francisco, Mr. Stanford asked me if it 
was possible to photograph a favourite 
horse of his at full speed. I invented the 
means employed, submitted the result to 
Mr. Stanford, and accomplished the work 
for his private gratification, without 
remuneration. I subsequently suggested, 
invented, and patented the more elaborate 


' % 

Lithograph from J.D.B. Stillman's The Horse in Motion 

Muybridge's original photograph, 
from Attitudes of Animals in Motion 

system of investigation, Mr. Stanford 
paying the actual necessary disbursements, 
exclusive of the value of my time, or my 
personal expenses. I patented the apparatus 
and copyrighted the resulting photographs 
for my own exclusive benefit. Upon the 
completion of the work Mr. Stanford 
presented me with the apparatus. Never 
having asked or received any payment for 
the photographs, other than as mentioned, 
I accepted this as a voluntary gift; the 
apparatus under my patents being 
worthless for use to any one but myself. 
These are the facts; and on the bases of 
these I am preparing to assert my rights. 36 
J. Muybridge [the E. is omitted] 

Stanford's Preface to "The Horse in 

I have for a long time entertained the 
opinion that the accepted theory of the 
relative positions of the feet of horses in 
rapid motion was erroneous. I also believed 
that the camera could be utilized to 
demonstrate that fact, and by 
instantaneous pictures show the actual 
position of the limbs at each instant of the 
stride. Under this conviction I employed 
Mr. Muybridge, a very skillful 
photographer, to institute a series of 
experiments to that end. Beginning with 
one, the number of cameras was afterwards 
increased to twenty-four, by which means 
as many views were taken of the 
progressive movements of the horse. The 
time occupied in taking each of these views 
is calculated to be not more than the 
five-thousandth part of a second. The 
method adopted is described in the 
Appendix to this volume. 

When these experiments were made it 
was not contemplated to publish the 
results; but the facts revealed seemed so 
important that I determined to have a 
careful analysis made of them. For this 
purpose it was necessary to review the 
whole subject of the locomotive machinery 
of the horse. I employed Dr. J.D.B. 
Stillman, whom I believed to be capable of 

the undertaking. The result has been that 
much instructive information on the 
mechanism of the horse has been revealed, 
which is believed to be new and of 
sufficient importance to be preserved and 

The Horse in Motion is the title chosen 
for the book; for the reason that it was the 
interest felt in the action of that animal 
that led to the experiments, the results of 
which are here published, though the 
interest wakened led to similar 
investigations on the paces and movements 
of other animals. It will be seen that the 
same law governs the movements of most 
other quadrupeds, and it must be 
determined by their anatomical structure. 

The facts demonstrated cannot fail, it 
would seem, to modify the opinions 
generally entertained by many, and, as 
they become more generally known, to 
have their influence on art. 
Palo Alto Farm, California, 1881 

Stanford to Stillman, 23 October 1882 
("Office of the Central Pacific Railroad, 
President's Department") 

Dear Doctor: 

I enclose you Osgood's report, and also 
a letter from Mr. Reid. Muybridge has 
commenced a suit by attachment in 
Boston, levying on all the books, and 
charging that I have, by the publication of 
the book, injured his professional 
reputation. He wants damages to the 
extent of $50,000 and claims that the idea 
of taking photographs of horses in motion 
originated with him, and not with me, and 
that I set up that claim in the book. 

When I first spoke to Muybridge about 
the matter, he said it could not be done. I 
insisted, and he made his trials. He has 
often stated this to others, and I think 
there will be no difficulty in defeating his 
suit, and showing that his merit such as it 
is, was in carrying out my suggestions. You 
will probably remember his having said so 
to you, as he was in the habit of saying so 

often to others. I think it was completely 
set forth in the sketch that he gave at one 
time to put into the book as an appendix. 37 
I think the fame we have given him has 
turned his head. I think of going East 
about the first of next month. If you have 
any suggestions to make in regard to the 
book or other matters please let me know 
and I will endeavor to attend to them 

Hoping yourself and family are all well. I 
am with kind regards, 
Your friend, Leland Stanford 

G. Meissonier's New "1887" 

From the New York Evening Post, 
Saturday, 26 March 1887 (Kingston 
Scrap book, p. 171) 

Sir: A cablegram from London, 
published in one of this morning's papers, 
announces the fact that Meissonier is 
painting a new "Friedland" picture, which 
is to be a revised and improved copy of the 
work in the Stewart collection now being 
sold at public auction in this city. 38 The 
implication being conveyed by the article is 
that Meissonier is guilty of a dishonest 
action in thus reproducing his famous 

A letter which I have seen this morning, 
written by Meissonier to Mr. Muybridge of 
the University of Pennyslvania, and certain 
facts which have come to my notice, 
explain why the artist has decided to 
reproduce the work upon which so much 
of his fame in this country has seemed to 

A few years ago, when Mr. Muybridge 
first went to Paris with a collection of his 
photographs of animals in motion, a 
reception was tendered him by Meissonier, 
to which were invited many of the most 
distinguished artists in France. At this 
reception Meissonier exhibited and highly 
commended the wonderful revelations 
made by Mr. Muybridge's investigations, 
stating frankly, in the presence of his 


brother artists, that he had been mistaken 
in his past observations of horses in 
motion. He acknowledged that the picture 
"Friedland" contained what he now knew 
to be gross errors, and he expressed his 
regret that he could obtain no opportunity 
to correct them, as he would gladly do. 

Feeling that his reputation as an artist 
might in time be compromised by this 
picture, Meissonier, it is believed, has 
begun the new picture with the intention 
of correcting such faults as he recognizes in 
the work in the Stewart sale. 

No artist is more conscientious and 
none more jealously guards his good 
reputation than does Meissonier. He is a 
man who never allows to go out of his 
studio a work which, at the time, he deems 
unworthy of his reputation or 
unsatisfactory to his highest artistic 

Very respectfully yours, 
Charles M. Kurtz, New York, March 25 

H. Restatement 1892 

Draft of a letter, Muybridge to Stanford, 2 
May 1892. "San Francisco Art Association, 
430 Pine Street, San Francisco." (The 
original, in Muy bridge's hand, is in The 
Bancroft Library, University of California, 
Berkeley, and is published here, with 
Muy bridge's deletions indicated in 
brackets, by the permission of the 
Director.) The letter is addressed "To The 
Hon. Leland Stanford, United States 
Senate. " There is no signature. 39 

My dear Sir. 

In the spring of the year 1872 in 
Sacramento, you asked me if it was 
possible to photograph from a lateral point 
of view, your horse Occident while trotting 
at full speed; as you wished to confirm a 
theory that a horse trotting at full speed 
must necessarily be clear of the ground for 
a portion of his stride. 

I need not remind you that in a few 
days I established the truth of this theory 

to your and my own satisfaction, if not to 
the satisfaction of the world. 

On the 7 August 1877 in a letter (a 
copy of which I have before me) 40 1 
suggested to you a plan for making a series 
of electro-photographs, automatically, by 
which the consecutive phases of a single 
stride could be successfully photographed. 

Being [I— bec ame ] much interested in 
this subject, [-and— -in— -seek-mg— -you-r 
e o op eration in the work. ] I offered to 
supply you with what copies of the results 
you required for your personal use, if you 
would pay the actual expenses of obtaining 

them omitting any payment in money 

for my time. 

You accepted my proposition, and from 
a few days after the date of my letter, until 
the spring of 1881, or for more than three 
years, my time was devoted almost 
exclusively to superintending the 
construction of the apparatus or the 
execution of the work. 41 

In the summer of 1878 I published and 
copyrighted under the title of 

The Horse in Motion 



six photographs of your horses, each 
illustrating [12] consecutive phases of the 
Trot, Gallop, etc. 

I delivered to you a large number of 
these photographs with the above title 
printed on the mounts thereof, but very 
few were sold. 

In [consideration] consequence of the 
interest which you and [-Mrs— Stanford ] 
manifested in the work, [ and- -her- desire- to 
ex-tend— -the — investigation-] it was then 
arranged that I should continue my work, 
with 24 cameras instead of 12 the results 
of which, as you state in the preface to the 
book, published under your 

auspices were not originally intended for 

publication by you. 

Finding, however that my system of 
investigating Animal Locomotion began to 
attract some attention, it was agreed and 
arranged that my photographs should be 
reproduced and published in book form. 

It was your professed, and I believed 
your sincere desire to recognize my 
devotion to the work by extending a 
knowledge of it to the world, and by that 
means to bring me not only fame, but 
something more substantial, in the shape of 
[•something-] that which too often fails to 
accompany fame, these or words to that 
effect, were frequently used by you. 

During the winter of 1880-81 "J D B 
Stillman MD" (who was not present at a 

single experiment of motion) at your 

request commenced to examine and write a 
description of my photographs. While 
engaged in this work, Stillman submitted 
to me the title page of the proposed book, 
which, taking my original copyrighted title 
as his key, was substantially as follows: 

The Horse in Motion 

as demonstrated by a series of photographs 

by Muybridge 

With an attempt to elucidate the theory 

of Animal Locmotion 

by J.D.B. Stillman MD 

Published under the auspices of 

Leland Stanford 

This title page was satisfactory to me 
and had this book been published it might 
have been of some assistance in obtaining 
for me the reward which you expressed 
your belief and desire I should have. 

Early in the year 1882 I gave a Lecture 
at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, 
when I took the opportunity of giving you, 
what I think you will consider was full and 
generous acknowledgment for your 
co-operation and assistance in my work. 

This lecture brought me into contact 
with many persons distinguished in Science 
or Art or holding the highest rank in 

Mr. Spottiswoode the President of 

the Royal Society of London invited me to 
prepare a monograph on Animal 
Locomotion to be published in the 
"Proceedings" of the Society, and 
promised to provide the funds for an 
exhaustive investigation of the subject to 
be made under the auspices of the Society. 


I was invited to give several public and 
private repetitions of the Lecture given at 
the Royal Institution. And altogether a 
brilliant and profitable career seemed 
opened to me in London. 

In response to the invitation by the 
President I wrote a monograph on Animal 
Locomotion, and submitted it to the 
Council of the Royal Society. 

This monograph was examined, 
accepted and a day appointed for its 
presentation to the Fellows, and for its 
being placed in the records of the Society. 

I have in my possession a proof sheet of 
my monograph, printed by the Society, (as 
is its custom) before [it is] being place on 
the record of its "Proceedings." 

About three days before the time 
appointed for the reception of my 
monograph by the Fellows, I received a 
note requesting my presence at the Rooms 
of the Society. 

Upon my arrival I was conducted to the 
Council Chamber, and was asked by the 
President in the presence of the assembled 
Council, if I knew anything about a book 
then on the table having on its title page, 
the following 

The Horse in Motion 


JDB Stillman MD 

Published under the auspices of 

Leland Stanford 

[and] there being no reference thereon to 

I was asked whether this book 
contained the results of the photographic 
investigation of which I had professed to 
be the author. That being admitted I was 
invited to explain to the Council how it 
was that my name did not appear on the 
Title page, in accordance with my 

No explanation of mine could avail in 
the face of the evidence on the title page, 
and in the book before the Council, I had 
no proof to support my assertions. 

My monograph was refused a place on 
the records of the Royal Society until I 
could prove to the satisfaction of the 

Council my claim to be considered its 
original author, and until this day it 
remains unrecorded from the lack of 
evidence which would be acceptable to the 
Council, which evidence is at your 

The doors of the Royal Society were 
thus closed against me, and in consequence 
of this action, the invitations which had 
been extended to me were immediately 
cancelled, and my promising career in 
London was thus brought to a disastrous 

My available funds being exhausted I 
was compelled to sell the four original 
photographic copies of 

"The Horse in Motion" 

which I had printed at your request and for 
your purposes, and with the proceeds of 
their sale I returned to America. 

I will not now trouble you with any 
details of other and subsequent happenings 
more than to say that in consequence of 
this publication of 

'The Horse in Motion" 


J.D.B. Stillman MD 

I for two years vainly sought assistance to 
pursue my researches until at last through 
the influence of Dr. William Pepper, and 
other gentlemen (who had made due 
enquiries as to my position in the matter) I 
was instructed by the University of 
Pennsylvania to make a comprehensive 
investigation of the subject of Animal 
Locomotion. A few of the results of this 
investigation, you have seen. 

I have patiently waited during eleven 
years without bringing this matter to your 
attention, but I think that the time has 
arrived when in justice both to you and to 
myself I ought to do so. 

With many of the facts which I have 
related you are already familiar, and I do 
not believe you will question the accuracy 
of my statements in regard to the others, 
they are however all susceptible of [being 
read-Hy-and ] conclusive [ly-proved-] proof. 
I am, Dear Sir, Yours Faithfully 

I. Muybridge: His Summation 1892 

"Correspondence," The Journal of the 
Camera Club (London), 9 November 1897, 
pp. 190-192 (Kingston Scrapbook, p. 196) 


If a recent lecture at the Camera Club 
was correctly reported in the Standard, of 
5th Nov., I have no doubt of one of the 
statements made by the lecturer causing 
you and some of the other members of 
your Club considerable astonishment. 

The paragraph reads as follows: "The 

reconstruction of that movement that 

was to say the synthesis was then 

considered a very distant problem. 
Towards 1893 appeared the Edison 
Kinetoscope, which realized that 

The "then" presumably, refers to a date 

previously mentioned 1874 at which 

time a photographic investigation of animal 
movements had been commenced in 

During the last few years, numerous 
gentlemen in Europe and America have put 
forth claims to have been the first to 
demonstrate by synthesis the results of 
photographic analysis. 

Having, many years ago, practically 
retired from the field of photographic 
investigation, I have taken no part in this 
controversy. Since, however, the statement 
is gravely made to a body of scientific men 
assembled in your rooms, that an apparatus 

for showing "Animated Photographs" 

so called was not "invented" until about 

five years since, I thought it a not 
inappropriate occasion to send you, for the 
information of such members of your Club 
as care to take the trouble to read them, a 
few quotations in regard to some 
demonstrations of a similar character 
which were made so long ago that one may 
reasonably be excused for having forgotten 
all about them. 

As dates are the all important feature in 
this matter, it is as well to direct attention 
to the fact that Mr. Richard A. Proctor, 


writing in 1881, alludes to his having seen, 
"about two years" before that time, the 
projecting apparatus called the 
Zoopraxiscope, which was then in practical 
use to reproduce apparent motion from 
analytical photographs. 

Whether the Zoopraxiscope or any of 
the instruments more recently constructed 
for this purpose can be correctly called an 
"invention" may be open to question, for 
it is well known that the same principle 
was employed by the Belgian physicist, 
Plateau, in the early part of this century, 
and, perhaps, before that time by the 
Weber Brothers; so whatever honour may 
be considered as belonging to the 
"inventor" of this system of demonstration 
must be awarded to one long since passed 

I am not aware whether Plateau, or the 
Webers, used a modification of the 
apparatus for lantern projection. I think it 
very likely the former did, anyway an 
instrument was used for that purpose 
nearly fifty years ago by Pepper. 43 

Now, in regard to the Kinetoscope. 

I think Mr. Edison himself would no 
more claim to be the inventor of the first 
apparatus, constructed and used for the 
purpose of demonstrating by synthesis 
movements originally analytically 
photographed from life, than he would 
claim to be the originator of the 
phonograph, the telephone, or the electric 

The Kinetoscope is undoubtedly an 
improvement on the Zoopraxiscope, even 
as that instrument was an improvement on 
the Zoetrope. 

Several years before the appearance of 
the Kinetoscope, Mr. Edison was made 
perfectly familiar with the construction 
and contemplated improvements of the 
Zoopraxiscope during a conversation held 
with him about the possibility of 
combining that apparatus in a modified 
form with the phonograph, and thus to 
synchronously reproduce actions and 
words an article in respect to which was 
published in the Nation, of New York 19th 
January 1888. 

At that time, however, the phases of 
any one or a series of actions was limited in 

number to thirty-six the number of 

lenses used for photographing. In this way 
was illustrated two strides of a horse, a 
jump over a hurdle, another two strides, 
another jump and so on, uninterruptedly 
repeated during a period limited only by 
the patience of the audience. 

All of the more recent instruments are, 
naturally, a great improvement on their 
prototype. Science advances. 

To Mr. Marey must be attributed the 
first successful obtainment of consecutive 
phases of motion with a single lens upon a 
strip of sensitized material. The results of 
some of his experiments in this direction 
were published by him at a meeting of the 
Academie des Sciences, 3rd July, 1882, 
and are reported in Comptes rendus des 
seances de Vacademie des Sciences, t. xcv. 

You will perhaps see that the first 
demonostration given in Europe of 
projected syntheses of analytical 
photography was at the house of M. Marey, 
in Paris, September 1881. Your Club has, I 
think, in its library, one of the series of 
photographs exhibited on that occasion, 
which was made in 1878, and seen by Mr. 

Proctor synthetically 1 think, the 

following year. 

Permit me, in conclusion, to direct your 
attention, and through you, that of your 
colleagues, to a paragraph of page 20 of a 
little book, called "Descriptive 
Zoopraxography," which, I believe, is in 
your library. It refers to the flight of 
insects. 44 Marey has demonstrated many 
interesting facts on this subject, but I much 
question if it is possible with his system to 
solve the problem. I am confident that a 
thorough investigation of insect flight 
will result in information of very great 
practical value to the physicist and the 
mechanician, and therefore were worthy 
the attention of any of your members who 
have the time, the facilities, and the 
disposition to pursue that line of research. 

I am, Sir, 

Yours faithfully, E. Muybridge 

Reports referred to in the above Letter: 

[The first "report" in Muybridge's 
Appendix to his letter is Marey's letter, 
preceded by Tissandier's introduction to it, 
both of which are reprinted as Document 
B, above.] 

Gentleman's Magazine, vol. 251. Article 
appearing December, 1881, signed 
"Richard A. Proctor." "About two years 
ago I heard, for the first time, of a 
photographic achievement which seemed 
to me at the time scarce credible, and 
which I was presently assured by one of 
our ablest English photographers was 
absolutely outside the bounds of 
possibility. . . . 

"Yet it is found that so soon as the 
pictures, instead of being studied 
separately and with steady gaze, are 
submitted in rapid succession to the eye . . 
. .by arranging them uniformly round the 
outside of a rather large disc, only a small 
portion of the upper part of which can be 
seen at a single view, and setting this disc in 
rapid rotation, so that picture after picture 
comes into view .... we are able to see the 

horse galloping as in nature stride 

succeeding stride every circumstance of 

the motion, even to the waving of the tail 
and mane being truthfully, and therefore 
naturally, presented." 

Le Globe (of Paris), September 27th, 1881. 

(M. Vilbort) "M. Marey, professeur au 

College de France, reunissait hier quelques 
savants, etrangers et frangais, dans la 
maison nouvelle qu'il habite au Trocadero . 
. . . Parmi les invites de M. Marey on 
remarquait M. Von Helmholtz . . . M. Govi 
MM. Bjerknes, Brown-Sequard, 
Mascart, Lippmann, Nadar, Gaston 
Tissandier. . . Crookes, etc. . . . Les 
mouvements sont decomposes et 
reproduits, y compris les mouvements 
transitoires entre les diverses allures . . . par 
le procede zootropique. C'est la 

reproduction mais projetee, c'est-a-dire 

agrandie et visible pour un plus grand 
nombre de la curieuse experience qu'on 


fait au zootrope sur les tables des salons. 
. .Nous voyons ainsi passer devant nos yeux 
de longues files de chevauz au galop 
s'assemblant, s'etalant avec la plus 
surprenante souplesse. Puis des chiens les 
suivent, courant entre leurs jambes la 
queue au vent. 

"Dans ce defile diabolique, dans cette 
chasse infernale, les cerfs courents apre"s les 
chiens, les boeufs poursuivent les cerfs, et 
les pores eux-me'mes montrent dans leur 
galop de folles pretentions a la gr&ce et a la 

"La photographie surprend aussi le vol 
des oiseaux dan les mille combinasions de 
leurs ailes qui tant&t relevees planent 
au-dessus de leur corps, tantcU se repliant 
les enveloppent tout entiers." 

The Standard (London), November 28th, 

1881. "M. Meissonier has just gathered 

in his studio all the most celebrated French 
artists and sculptors to witness some 
curious experiments. . . .When these 
twenty-four photographs, placed in a kind 
of wheel, were turned rapidly, and made to 
pass before the lens of the magic lantern, 
their truthfullness was demonstrated most 

Illustrated London News, March 18th, 

1882 (Geo. A. Sala). "By the aid of an 

astonishing apparatus called a 
'Zoopraxiscope,' which the lecturer 
described as an improvement on the old 
'Zoetrope,' but which may be briefly 
defined as a Magic Lantern Run Mad (with 
method in the madness), the ugly animals 
suddenly became mobile and beautiful, and 
walked, cantered, ambled, galloped and 
leaped over hurdles in the field of vision in 
a perfectly natural manner. . . .After the 
horses, dogs, oxen, wild bulls and deer, 
were shown under analogous conditions of 
varied movement, and finally Man 
appeared (in instantaneous photography) 
on the scene and walked, ran, leaped, and 
turned back-somersaults to admiration." 

evident ... an imperishable record of the 
figure, height, dress, carriage and gait of 
any eminent man . . . could be had. 
Posterity at the bidding of our 
photographic necromancers could call up 
any of these worthies at any future date, 
and see him move across the stage with a 
startling verisimilitude. Nay, we would 
have his very 'walk and conversation.' . . . 
The phonograph, at the same time, as we 
may anticipate from its ultimate 
perfection, might repeat audibly. . . ." 




New York, 
Garrison J.- 


it is 


1. This shutter, made partially of a 
cigar-box top, is in the Stanford 
Museum Collection. It is illustrated on 
p. 111. The sky -shade was a forerunner of 
the appratus Muybridge devised for 
taking instantaneous photographs of 
Stanford's horses. 

2. Muybridge had gone to Yosemite with 
his equipment in a box marked 
"Houseworth." But upon his return, he 
deserted his old publisher, and moved 
to Bradley & Rulofson. 

3. Rulofson thus proclaims that, for a 
Californian of the period, he was an 
Equal Opportunity Employer. 

4. Muybridge had won the Gold Medal at 
Vienna in 1873 for his large 187 2 views 
of Yosemite. 

5. Helen Arbuckle, "Muybridge Made 
Pictures of Motion," San Jose Mercury 
and News, 2 April 1972. 

6. Copy in Rare Books and Special 
Collections, San Francisco Public 
Library. The photographic copies of the 
documents were made at Vance's 
Gallery, whose premises in San 
Francisco Bradley & Rulofson 
eventually occupied. 

7. Muybridge, in the first three of the 
locations, refers to Alaska, 1868; 
Panama, 1875; Yosemite, 1872. 
Photographs taken "beneath the waters 
of our Bay" have yet to be found. 

8. Translations by J. Sue Porter, Stanford 
University Museum of Art. Tissandier 
had published an article by Marey on 
the graphic notation of movement 
("Moteurs animes, Experiences de 
physiologie graphique, " a paper given 
at the French Association for the 
Advancement of Science, 29 August 
1878) in two installments preceding his 
publication of the Stanford/Muybridge 
experiments: La Nature, No. 278, 28 
September 1878, and No. 279, 5 
October 1878. 

9. Louis Cailletet (1832-1913), a French 


10. Muybridge's dating is confusing. See his 
statement that Stanford had read 
Animal Mechanism, especially p. 161, 
before 187 2 in his unsigned article, 
Document E. Marey's La Machine 
Animate was published in Paris in 1873; 
in New York, under the title Animal 
Mechanism, in 1874. In fact, in a later 
letter [reprinted as Document I], 
Muybridge gives the date as 1874. By 
thus blurring the two dates, Muybridge 
condenses the two phases of the 
Stanford/Muybridge experiments into 
one. The distinction is that in 1872 
they were attempting to prove by a 
single instantaneous photograph that a 
horse at some point in his stride has all 
four feet off the ground; by 1874, the 
experimental idea had expanded, and 
what they now sought to obtain 
through a series of instantaneous 
photographs was a record of all the 
phases of a horse's stride. This was 
accomplished at Palo Alto in 1878, 
after Muybridge 's return from Central 

11. For the clock, see Proceedings of the 
Royal Institution of Great Britain, for 
13 March 1882. 

12. The eldest of the three brothers, Ernst 
Heinrich Weber (1795-1878), was an 
anatomist and physiologist. Another 
researcher was the American physician 
and author, Oliver Wendell Holmes 
(1809-94), Holmes studied the 
instantaneous stereoscopic views of the 
streets of London, Paris and New York, 
which were first published in 1859, and 
found that the walking figures in them 
showed entirely different attitudes from 
those depicted by artists. "We thought 
we could add something to what is 
known about it [the mechanism of 
walking] from a new source, accessible 
only within the last few years and 
never, so far as we know, employed for 
its elucidation, namely the 
instantaneous photograph." He 
employed the artist F.O.C. Darley to 
make drawings from the photographs; 
these were published with his article, 

"The Human Wheel, its Spokes and 
Felloes," in Atlantic Monthly, Vol II, 
May 1863, pp. 567-80. (For a fuller 
discussion of Holmes's inquiry, see B. 
Newhall, "Photography and the 
Development of Kinetic Visualization," 
Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld 
Institutes, Vol. VII, Nos. 1 and 2, 1944, 
pp. 40-45.) 

13. Olive Cook, in Movement in Two 
Dimensions, London, 1963, p. 127, 
gives 1867 as the year in which the 
Daedelum or Wheel of Life was brought 
out in the United States under the name 
of Zoetrope. 

14. By this time Muybridge was working on 
his first zoopraxiscope, which he 
demonstrated at Leland Stanford's Palo 
Alto home in the autumn. 

15. For an example of Eakins's 
diagrammatic representation, see 
illustration above. 

16. The first mention of combining sound 
with photographically analyzed motion. 
Cf. remark in The S.F. Call for 5 May 
1880, "All that was missing was the 
clatter of hoofs!" (Kingston 

Scrapbook, p. 58). 

17. E.J. Marey, Animal Mechanism, New 
York, 1874. On this page Marey also 
remarks: "All [the necessary researches 
into animal locomotion ] can only be 
effected by men especially interested in 
these inquiries, and placed in favorable 
circumstances to undertake them." This 
certainly is a description that suits 
Leland Stanford. Stanford immediately 
accepted the challenge. 

18. But see the date of Animal Mechanism, 

19. For a discussion of the difference 
between recording photographically the 
motion of a subject who moves along the 
line of vision and one that moves across 
it, or laterally, see B. Newhall, op. cit. 

20. For a discussion of the published 
picture, see catalogue. 

21. An error in date. There were no series 
pictures until 1878. 

22.Enoch Wood Perry, Jr. (1831-1915), 

was an internationally famous portrait 
painter. He is listed in Muybridge 's 
promotion piece for Animal 
Locomotion as a subscriber. 
"A California Coach and Four" is 
probably an oblique reference to Thomas 
Eakins's use of the photographs of 
Edgington for the painting The Fairman 
Rogers Four-in-Hand, 1879. Muybridge 
never refers to Eakins by name, although 
he corresponded with him. 

23. See illustrations. 

24. Again, Muybridge's time calculations 
appear to be off. The first serial 
photographs were taken in the spring of 
1878; the zoogyroscope (later called the 
zoopraxiscope) was operated in 1879, a 
matter of a year and several months. 
But it must be remembered that in 
1877, Muybridge and Stanford ordered 
twelve cameras for the experiments; a 
strip of an object in motion for a 
zoetrop with thirteen slots has twelve 
images. It seems likely that Stanford 
and Muybridge followed Marey's 
suggestion in 1874 of producing an 
"animated zoology," and from then 
onward directed the experiments 
toward the synthesis as well as the 
analysis of motion. 

25. Muybridge later reduced the size of the 
disk to twelve inches. 

26.Stillman, in his deposition, cited in the 
introduction, says: "The first thing 
done was, we sent to Chicago for the 

skeleton of a horse or the Governor 

did. We had no basis, no anatomical 
knowledge relating to horses, and no 
way by which we could get it; and it 
was evident to me that we had got to 
begin on the anatomy. . . . We therefore 
sent for the skeleton. (Stillman 
deposition, pp. 4-5.) The skeleton is 
shown in six different phases of motion 
in the drawings made from Muybridge's 
photographs for Stillman's book (Plates 
XII, XXXV and XLVHI). Photographs 
of it appear on the last ten pages of 
Muybridge's The Attitudes of Animals 
in Motion, Palo Alto, May 1881. 

27. The letter was written two days after 


Meissonier's reception, which was held 
on Saturday, 26 November, the day on 
which Stanford left. 

28. See p. 6 for a reproduction of the 

29. By "disposition" Muybridge means 
further financial support. 

30. Stanford had returned to Palo Alto by 
now, and when the letter was received 
there by Shay, in early 1882, had 
already written his Preface to J.D.B. 
Stillman's The Horse in Motion. 

31. By "embarrassing" does Muybridge 
refer to his enforced travel to Central 
America in 1875-76 after the scandal of 
the Larkyns murder of 1874? The serial 
trials were probably envisioned in 1874, 
the year Marey's book was published in 
English, but could not be taken up until 
after Muybridge had returned and had 
finished printing his Central America 
photographs; that is, not until 1877. 

32. The letters to Stanford have not been 
found by the authors of this catalogue. 

33. His Yosemite series of 1872, which 
occupied him for almost a year, brought 
Muybridge over $20,000. On 30 May 
1881, Stanford paid Muybridge $2,000 
for his work at the Palo Alto Farm, 
which had occupied him intermittantly 
from 1877 to 1881. (The record of 
payment is in the Collis P. Huntington 
Collection of the George Arents 
Research Library, Syracuse University.) 
The payment was made to Muybridge in 
New York, and is marked on Stanford's 
account as "chargeable to Photograph 
a/c." This strange letter designation 
may be deciphered as "auto- 
matic-electro," which is Muybridge 's 
description of his first published 
"photograph" of Occident in 1877. 

34. The letter is not in Muybridge's hand. 
The two printed above, to Shay, are. 

35. The two following items are paired in 
the Kingston Scrapbook. 

36. Muybridge instituted his first suit 
Osgood us. Muybridge in the Circuit 
Court of Massachusetts on 14 
September 1882. It was immediately 

non-suited; Muybridge then initiated 
Stanford vs. Muybridge. 

37. See Documents, E. 

38. The original painting is now in the 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New 
York, and the watercolor in the 
Huntington Hartford Collection. 

39.Muybridge was in San Francisco 
preparing to embark upon A 
Zoopraxigraphical tour of the Orient. 
During his visit to the city, he also 
wrote two notes to Stanford, (5 August 
189 2, originals in The Bancroft 
Library), asking that he deliver two 
boxes of equipment to friends of his in 
the area, the Doyles. It is these two 
wooden boxes, we believe, which were 
recently found in San Francisco by 
Marilyn Blaisdell, a San Francisco dealer 
in Californiana, and purchased by the 
Stanford Museum. The lamp housing 
for the Stanford copy of the 
zoopraxiscope, a chromotrope, the 
lateral sliding shutter of 1869, and the 
glass positives of animals in motion 
illustrated in the catalogue were in them. 
The Doyle family of Menlo Park for years 
held the collection of Muybridge 
stereographs and larger views that is 
now in The Bancroft Library. 
Instead of touring the Orient, 
Muybridge accepted an invitation to 
lecture at the World's Columbian 
Exposition in Chicago, 1893. 

40. The letter has not been found by the 
authors of this catalogue. 

41. From August of 1879 until May of 
1881, Muybridge worked on the 
improvement of his zoopraxiscope and 
on printing The Attitudes of Animals in 
Motion. He also gave lectures 
throughout California during this 

4 2. Muybridge must be referring to The 
Attitudes of Animals in Motion. An 
advertisement for Attitudes appeared in 
The British Journal of Photography for 
19 August 1881: "THE ATTITUDES 
209 PHOTOGRAPHS, illustrating 2,000 

attitudes of Men, Horses, Dogs, and 
other Animals, while executing their 
various movements from life, by 
MUYBRIDGE. Price £20 for the entire 
series. Published by the Author, and for 
sale at the Office of The British Journal 
of Photography, 2, York St., Covent 
Garden, London, W.C." Then it was 
Leland Stanford's name that was 
missing. This and the letters to Shay 
reprinted above probably made 
Stanford hurry home to produce his 
own book. 

43.Muybridge refers to John Henry Pepper, 
author of The Boy's Play book of 
Science, London and New York, second 
edition, 1860. 

44. Muybridge is referring to the following 
passage, p. 26 of his Descriptive 
Zoopraxography (1893): 

"Although the one six-thousandth 
part of a second was the duration of the 
most rapid exposure made in this 
investigation, it is by no means the limit 
of mechanically effected photographic 
exposures. Marey, in his remarkable 
physiological investigations, has 
recently made successive exposures with 
far less intervals of time; and the author 
has devised, and when a relaxation of 
the demands upon his time permit, will 
use an apparatus which will photograph 
twenty consecutive phases of a single 
vibration of the wing of an insect; even 
assuming as correct a quotation from 
Nicholson's Journal by Pettigrew in his 
work on Animal Locomotion that a 
common house fly will make during 
flight seven hundred and fifty vibrations 
of its wings in a second of time, a 
number probably far in excess of the 

The ingenious gentlemen who are 
persistently endeavoring to overcome 
the obstacles in the construction of an 
apparatus for aerial navigation, will 
perhaps some day be awakened by the 
fact that the only successful method of 
propulsion will be found in the action 
of the wing of an insect." 


Muybridge Bibliography 

By Muybridge 

With original photographs and text: 

The Attitudes of Animals in Motion, Palo Alto, 1881 
[see catalogue entry] 

With reproductions of his photographs and text: 

Animal Locomotion, University of Pennsylvania, 1887 

"An electro- photographic investigation of consecutive 

phases of animal movements. 1872-1885" 

11 volumes; 781 plates in portfolios, 19 1/8 x 24 3/8 in. 

The plates printed by the Photogravure Company of New York 

Animals in Motion: An Electro-Photographic Investigation of 

Consecutive Phases of Animal Progressive Movements, 

London, Chapman & Hall, 1899 

"Commenced 1872. Completed 1885" 

264 pp., 118 illustrations, including examples from both 

the Palo Alto and the University of Pennsylvania experiments 

The Human Figure in Motion: An Electro-Photographic 
Investigation of Consecutive Phases of Muscular Actions, 
London, Chapman & Hall, 1901 
"Commenced 1872. Completed 1885" 
280 pp., 154 illustrations 

Descriptive of his work: 

"Leland Stanford's Gift to Science and to Art," 
San Francisco Examiner, 6 February 1881 

Animal Locomotion, Prospectus and Catalogue, 
University of Pennsylvania, 1887 

The Science of Animal Locomotion (Zobpraxography), 
University of Pennsylvania, 1891 

Descriptive Zob'praxography, or the Science of Animal 
Locomotion Made Popular, University of Pennsylvania, 1893 
"Published as a memento of a series of lectures given by the 
author under the auspices of the United States Government 
Bureau of Education at the World's Columbian Exposition, 
in Zoopraxographical Hall, 1893" 

Recent reissues of Muybridge's work, edited: 

The Human Figure in Motion, introduction by R.A. Taft, 
New York, Dover, 1955 

Animals in Motion, L.S. Brown, ed., New York, Dover, 1957 

Animal Locomotion, Vol. 1, "Males (nude)," New York, 
Da Capo Press, 1969 

On the Muybridge Work 

Catalogue of Photographic Views Illustrating The Yosemite, 
Mammoth Trees, Geyser Springs, and other remarkable and 
Interesting Scenery of the Far West, by Muybridge, Bradley & 
Rulofson Gallery of Portrait and Landscape Photographic Art, 
San Francisco, 1873 
2,385 entries 

J.D.B. Stillman, The Horse in Motion, 1882 
[see catalogue entry] 

W.D. Marks, H. Allen, F.X. Dercum, Animal Locomotion. The 
Muybridge Work at the University of Pennsylvania. The Method 
and the Result, University of Pennsylvania, 1888 

F.X. Dercum, "The Walk and Some of its Phases in Disease; 
Together with Other Studies Based on the Muybridge Investi- 
gation," Transactions, College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 10, 
1888, pp. 308-338 


W.E. Finny, "Eadweard James Muybridge: A Famous Kingstonian, 
Scientist, Inventor, Benefactor," The Concentric, Kingston-upon- 
Thames, Summer, 1931 

T.E. Keys and L.A. Julin, "The Development of the Medical 
Motion Picture," Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 91, 
November 1950, pp. 625-636 

B. Newhall, "Muybridge and the First Motion Picture; the Horse 
in the History of the Movies," Image, January 1956, pp. 4-11; 
reprinted, U.S. Camera Annual, 1957, pp. 235-42 

Gordon Hendricks, The Edison Motion Picture Myth, Berkeley, 
University of California Press, 1961 

Mary V. Jessup Hood and Robert Bartlett Haas, "Eadweard 
Muybridge's Yosemite Valley Photographs, 1867-1872," 
California Historical Society Quarterly, Vol. XLII, 
San Francisco, March 1963, pp. 5-26 

W.I. Homer with J. Talbot, "Eakins, Muybridge and the Motion 
Picture Process," The Art Quarterly, Vol. XXVI, No. 2, 
Summer 1963, pp. 194-216 

H. Hamilton, "Les Allures du cheval, Eadweard James 
Muybridge's Contribution to the Motion Picture," 
Film Comment, Vol. V, No. 3, Fall, 1969, pp. 18-35 


Robert Bartlett Haas, Muybridge, Man in Motion, Berkeley, 
University of California Press 

Thorn Andersen, Eadweard Muybridge, Zobpraxographer 
A sixty-minute film in 16 mm. color. Made at UCLA 


We are grateful to the institutions and individuals 
noted in the catalogue who have loaned material to the 
exhibition, and to those who have given permission to 
have their material illustrated in the catalogue. 

Information for the exhibition and the catalogue has come 
from many sources. We particularly thank Robert B. Haas; 
A. William and Mary V.J. Hood, Twenty nine Palms, California; 
Susan Rosenberg, Stanford University Archives; Beaumont Newhall, 
University of New Mexico; John Barr Tompkins, The Bancroft 
Library; Daniel Ross, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; 
F. John Owens, Central Library, Kingston-upon-Thames; Susan 
Frank, Washington, D.C.;and William I. Homer, University of 

The photographer Leo Holub of Stanford University made it 
possible to include Muybridge's Central America work and the 
San Francisco panorama in the exhibition by making copy negatives 
and prints from the bound originals. He also made exhibition 
prints from the Muybridge negatives of the San Francisco home. 
Ralph E. Talbert, professor of photography in the Department 
of Journalism, Sacramento State College, made exhibition prints 
from Muybridge negatives of the Stanford Sacramento home and 
the eclipse of the sun. Thomas Waskevich of Stanford University 
Reprographic Services photographed the Muybridge equipment 
for the catalogue. 

Timothy Vitale and Donald Glaister prepared the photographs 
and the optical toys for the exhibition. 

David Beach, Stanford University Mechanical Design Department, 
brought a zoopraxiscope once again to Palo Alto Farm. 

Lorenz Eitner, director of the Stanford Museum and 

Chairman of the Department of Art, graciously supported 

the exhibition and catalogue. The staff of the Stanford 

Museum, of which Betsy G. Fryberger was Acting Curator 

during the period of the exhibition's installation, has also helped 

to make both the exhibition and the catalogue possible. 

In the name of Muybridge, sincere thanks is extended to 
them all. A.V. Mozley 

Printing: Hooper Printing & Lithography, San Francisco 
Type: Evelyn Miller, Compco-Type, San Francisco 
Design: A.V. Mozley , Stanford University Museum of Art 


Eadweard Muybrit